Authorities in western Iowa announced Tuesday night they’d found Stephanie Ehlers, the Minden woman whose family said she was 9 months pregnant and due to visit a doctor Monday to have labor induced. She’d vanished Saturday from her home between Avoca and Council Bluffs, but turned up in Omaha, safe and sound and not pregnant. Pottawatamie County Sheriff Jeff Danker says she just wanted to leave her husband. She’d lived with him for a number of years even before they married, and she’d decided she wanted out of it. “It was just her way of doing it,” concludes the sheriff. Relatives and her husband went to the Omaha house but the woman refused to talk to anyone but officers who took an official report. She stated that she was O.K., was there of her own free will, just wanted out of her marriage and had planned for quite a while and made provisions to do that. Deputies questioned the woman because relatives had said she was due to give birth any day. She said she was not pregnant. The sheriff says the woman told officers she’d seen a doctor in September who told her she was pregnant but a couple weeks later she miscarried…and kept on telling people she was pregnant. The sheriff says Ehlers had dyed her hair red before leaving her Pottawatamie County home on Saturday. She went to a hotel, then to the home of a friend in Omaha. She told officers there was no domestic violence or anything like that, she just wanted to go to Texas and start a new life down there. A friend she was staying with in Omaha was going to help her, and she said once she’d gotten there she might notify her family that she’d gone there and was OK. Sheriff Danker says they’d considered issuing a subpoena for medical records when they thought she’d vanished while 9 months pregnant. The doctor the family thought she was using was not one she’d seen. Investigators did locate a doctor who apparently saw her in th past, but as far as whether she’d been briefly pregnant last fall as she claims, they have only her word so far. The woman apparently is free to go now deputies took her statement and ensured that she was unharmed. Ehlers won’t face any charges since she did not file any false report, and the sheriff says far as he can tell she didn’t break any laws.
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