Details of Disappearance Upp was last seen in St. Thomas in the U.S. Virgin Islands on September 14, 2017. She disappeared a week after Hurricane Irma struck the island, and a week before Hurricane Maria arrived and caused heavy rain.
Upp has disappeared before. In August 2008, while she was living in New York City and had a job teaching school, she went missing on the first day of school and wasn't found for twenty days. People on the Staten Island Ferry found her floating facedown in the water, about a mile off the southern tip of Manhattan. She was rescued, hospitalized and treated for hypothermia, severe sunburn and dehydration, then transferred to a psychiatric unit.
After her rescue, Upp was able to recall her identity but couldn't explain why she'd gone missing and had only vague recollections of the time she was gone. It was later determined she spent the time roaming around New York City. After a series of tests, doctors couldn't find anything physically wrong with her and diagnosed her with dissociative fugue. This condition is usually caused by psychological trauma, but Upp stated she had not had any severe traumas in her life.
Four years later, in 2012, Upp moved to Maryland and took a job at a Montessori school there. She disappeared again, also on the first day, and found herself two days later in a creek about a mile and a half from her school; she'd apparently gone into a dissociative fugue again. She resumed her normal life and went back to work afterwards.
A year after that, she moved to St. Thomas and took a job at the Virgin Islands Montessori School. She disappeared for the final time four years later. She left her undress, sandals and car keys at a small bar on Sapphire Beach, where she often snorkeled.
Upp is a skilled, physically fit swimmer and might conceivably have survived for days in the water. Her loved ones hope she's still alive; one theory is she got on one of the many boats evacuating the island due to the hurricanes, and traveled to Florida, the Bahamas, St. Croix or Puerto Rico. Her case remains unsolved.
- Virgin Islands Police Department
Updated 1 time since October 12, 2004. Last updated February 13, 2019; casefile added.