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Judith Bello, Missing California Woman, Found After 18 Years (VIDEO)

First Posted: 12/04/11 10:54 AM ET Updated: 12/04/11 11:59 AM ET

Judith Bello

Police in Stanwood, Wash. were dealt a lucky hand when a missing person featured on a set of cold-case cards got a hold of the deck.

A 2008 set of cards distributed by detectives profiled 52 missing persons or unsolved homicides in the local county. Eighteen years later, Judith Bello -- the 8 of Hearts -- turned up.

Bello was last seen on Dec. 13, 1993 while leaving her job with a friend. According to Seattle Post Intelligencer, she didn't pick up her son from daycare, and her car was later abandoned at a nearby post office.

On Nov. 23 of this year, a woman claiming to be Bello left a message for the sheriff's detective Kelly Willoth, confessing she was Bello, and she was alive and well and living in California, according to HeraldNet.com.

Komonews.com reports that she left voluntarily, due to domestic violence issues. It's not clear why she did not contact any family members, or why she chose to move to California.

Although the cards have sparked other leads and a few arrests, Bello is the first missing person featured in the deck to be found, reports Heraldnet.com.

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Filed by Emily Heinz  |