Flora Vesta Smith Helmick

Flora, circa 1973

  • Missing Since 08/03/1973
  • Missing From Bridgewater, Virginia
  • Classification Endangered Missing
  • Sex Female
  • Race White
  • Age 52 years old
  • Height and Weight 5'0, 190 - 200 pounds
  • Medical Conditions Flora is mentally disabled and has difficulty speaking. In addition, she injured her back in a car accident a year prior to her disappearance.
  • Distinguishing Characteristics Caucasian female. Gray hair, brown eyes. Flora has no teeth. Her nickname is Flory.

Details of Disappearance

Flora was last seen in Bridgewater, Virginia at approximately 12:00 p.m. on August 3, 1973. She was accompanied by her sister, Martha, and her employer, John Keyton, at the time. They were driving Keyton's light green 1967 Ford Fairlane to a family reunion at the home of Keyton's brother in Dabolt, Kentucky; the event was scheduled for the following day.

Keyton and the Helmick sisters never arrived and have never been heard from again.

Keyton was not a good driver in 1973. He had been in at least one accident and received many traffic citations. His driver's license had been taken from him, but he continued to drive. Some theorized he, Martha and Flora died in an vehicular accident in the mountains of Virginia or Kentucky. If so, their remains and their car were never found.

A search turned up no sign of the Helmicks or Keyton. Their cases remain unsolved.

Investigating Agency

  • Bridgewater Police Department 540-828-2611

Updated 3 times since October 12, 2004. Last updated November 3, 2007; details of disappearance updated.