Hannah Upp, a 28-year-old Maryland-area teacher, has been recovered safely after disappearing two days ago; Upp, oddly, disappeared for three weeks nearly five years ago.
Upp currently works as a teacher’s assistant at a school near Maryland. On Tuesday morning, someone else who works at the school saw Upp walking a few miles away; her possessions were then found on a footpath, which is what alerted coworkers and family to the situation.
Last night, police located Upp in an area of Montgomery County known as Wheaton, but few other details have since been released. Family and friends in charge of a Facebook page called “Friends Holding Hannah Upp” posted “HANNAH IS BACK SAFE,” late Wednesday night. They later added an update, requesting “time and space” for Upp and her family as they sort through this latest strange ordeal.
Adding to the peculiarity of the story, Upp was also reported missing five years ago in New York City, where she was working as a Spanish teacher. The similarities’ between the cases are certainly striking; then, too, Upp disappeared in the early morning hours before school. Also, her disappearances both occurred in early fall, right around the start of the school year.
In 2009, Hannah Upp went for a morning jog near her New York apartment and never returned; the then-23-year-old was found three weeks later floating in the Hudson River, unharmed but for a severe sunburn. She said in a subsequent interview, “I went from going for a run to being in the ambulance. It was like ten minutes had passed. But it was almost three weeks.”
Experts who have weighed in on both disappearances suggested that Upp may suffer from a rare amnesiac disorder known as Dissociative Fugue. In this illness, patients’ memory loss is characterized by a sudden bout of amnesia, in which a loss of identity is believed to be brought on by travel or a person’s “inability to stay rooted.”
No one is able to comment yet on whether this disorder is what Hannah suffers from, and if so, what caused her sudden relapse.
For now, Hannah Upp is surrounded by family and friends, attempting to gain some insight into her possible illness. You can follow her progress through her Facebook page, Friends Holding Hannah Upp.