Please respect the mysterious ‘Woman in Black’ police warn

Posted at 3:39 PM, Jul 30, 2014
and last updated 2014-07-30 15:57:39-04

WINCHESTER, Va. — Some of the mystery surrounding the “Woman in Black” has been solved. The woman who has been spotted around the Southeast for the last few weeks turned up in Winchester, Virginia last night.

Winchester Police were called to Valley Avenue about 9 p.m.

“About 50 people gathered near a bank in this area to see the ‘Woman in Black.’ For her safety and the safety of others, officers took her to an undisclosed location and provided her with food and shelter,” Winchester Police said. “Officers spoke with the woman who says she is from Winchester and intends on staying in the area.”

Police said the woman, who they identified as 56-year-old Elizabeth Poles, asked to be left alone and urged the public to respect her wishes.

During the course of her journey, Poles became a social media star. The “Where is the Mysterious Woman in Black?” Facebook page grew to 52,000 likes.

On Wednesday, Poles’ brother said his sister served in the military and was getting treatment at a VA hospital in North Carolina when she asked to live with him in Alabama.

“For the first few months, she was doing great,” Poles told “Then one Sunday, when my wife and I picked her up, she shaved her head. She was asking me, ‘Where can I buy those long black robes?’”

He said she soon started her trek back to Virginia where she was raised.

“I don’t believe she will stay in Virginia,” Poles told “I think she will come back again.”