Patricia Gail Kopta

Kopta, circa 1992

  • Missing Since 06/20/1992
  • Missing From Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
  • Classification Endangered Missing
  • Sex Female
  • Race White
  • Date of Birth 01/28/1940 (79)
  • Age 52 years old
  • Height and Weight 5'0 - 5'4, 110 pounds
  • Medical Conditions According to her husband, Kopta has paranoid schizophrenia.
  • Distinguishing Characteristics Caucasian female. Graying black hair, green eyes. Kopta is known as The Sparrow. Her nickname is Pat.

Details of Disappearance

Kopta was last seen in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania on June 20, 1992. Her husband didn't report her missing until November 27; he told the police his wife had a tendency to drop out of sight for short periods, and that's why he was initially unconcerned by her absence. They lived in Ross, Pennsylvania.

Kopta was well known as a street preacher in Pittsburgh in the years prior to her disappearance. She walked throughout the city, approaching strangers and telling them she'd had a vision of the Virgin Mary and the world was about to end. Her sister stated she'd had a "religious obsession" since she was a child.

She lead a normal life, with a job as an elevator operator at the Art Institute of Pittsburgh, until 1984, when her religious vision occurred. Soon after, Kopta lost her job because she was "seeing things" and her behavior was disruptive, and then she began to walk the streets to spread her message. She believed she was chosen as one of God's 144,000 "bond servants" on earth, and gave up all her other hobbies, such as dancing, to devote her life to spreading the word of God.

Unlike most people who stayed on the streets all day, she maintained a neat, attractive appearance, wearing makeup and a dress and skirt each day. She had had numerous run-ins with the police and, each time, would tell them to be ready because the end of the world was coming.

Her sister stated Kopta was often mistreated by the strangers she approached. At least once she was beaten and robbed of her jewelry, and she had a vision that she would eventually be beaten to death. She told others she would die a martyr on the streets when she was too tired to walk any longer. Before her disappearance, Kopta's sister had tried to get her to seek medical treatment for her feet, which were in poor condition from excessive walking.

Kopta's family believes she took a flight to Puerto Rico after her disappearance, spent a week or two there, then returned to Pittsburgh. She wrote a letter saying someone was after her, but her husband stated she always thought someone was after her.

There has been no indication of Kopta's whereabouts since 1992, and the circumstances of her disappearance are unclear.

Investigating Agency

  • Ross Police Department 412-931-9070

Updated 1 time since October 12, 2004. Last updated April 21, 2019; casefile added.