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Missing woman found

July 18, 2007 |  4:56 am



1959_0425_hall_mug Mildred Hall, 44, who vanished Nov. 15, 1956, and was the subject of a Paul Coates column, resurfaced in April 1959, posing as many baffling questions as she did when she disappeared after leaving a note for her husband, Harold, that she was running some errands and would be back soon.

Hall was identified by Sister Mary Jeanette at the Notre Dame Academy, 2911 Overland Ave., where she went in search of information about her four children. Hall told reporters that she had wandered the world, wondering who she was, until she suffered a stroke and cerebral hemorrhage three weeks earlier in a Ventura hospital.

"I always prayed. God, how I prayed someone would recognize me," said Hall, an actress who gave up her movie career to raise a family.

"The first thing I remembered was sitting in a bus station in Meridian, Miss., with 33 cents in my pocket and a ticket for New Orleans," she told The Times.

She worked as a cocktail waitress in New Orleans, but after being robbed apparently blacked out and found herself on a ship bound for Manila. Next, she stowed away on a ship to Havana, she said.

"There, I got a job as a shill in a casino and earned enough money to fly to Key West Fla., where I worked for six months as a singer. Then I teamed up with a magician and his wife and traveled across the country," Hall said.

Somehow, she got to Ventura, where she was hospitalized. While she was gone, her husband divorced her, The Times said.

There's no further word in The Times on Hall or what became of her children. It's impossible to sort out all the Mildred Halls in the California death records and the Social Security Death Index. She had a brother, Bob, who was a lifeguard in Santa Monica in the 1950s. Her mother, Adeline M. Lucas, died Feb. 24, 1976.

We also know that her father, Charles M. Lloyd (real name Charles Lloyd Maude), an actor in silent films and vaudeville, died in Camarillo State Hospital in 1948, so there may have been some predisposition toward mental illness. But that is only a guess. As Coates said: "Mildred Hall is not a simple person to explain."

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