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Runaway Mom Breaks Her Silence in an Interview with Dr. Phil

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Runaway mom Brenda Heist is sitting down with Dr. Phil and breaking her silence in her first interview since abandoning her family 11 years ago.

Heist vanished without a trace on February 8, 2002, after dropping off her two children, Lee, 12, and Morgan, 8, at school in Lilitz, Pennsylvania, leaving her husband, family, and suburban lifestyle behind. Police investigated her disappearance for more than a decade, until she surfaced in Key West, Florida, late last month. Heist told officials she had hitchhiked with other people, lived in a camper, in tents, and under bridges, and scrounged up whatever food she could gather from restaurants. Other reports are telling a different story, saying she found a boyfriend within a year of arriving in Florida and seemed to live a pretty comfortable life, including vacationing, eating out, and going to the beach.

Dr. Phil interviewed the former missing housewife for nearly five hours in the Santa Rosa County Jail, where she is currently being held on outstanding warrants. Heist revealed she never could have imagined she'd be homeless, saying, "I've never even been around homeless people. Maybe see them on the street sometimes, but I've never been around homeless people at all. Never knew anything about it. That's why I had my own problems believing what I was doing. I just kept saying to myself, they're better off without me."

To see the television psychologist's riveting interview with the runaway mom, tune in to “Dr. Phil” on Monday, May 20, where she will also be reunited with her mother for the first time since her disappearance, and be sure to tune in to "omg! Insider" for more of the latest in entertainment news.

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