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Flickinger was last seen in Erie, Pennsylvania in approximately March 1979. She had previously gone missing and was found safe in Yuma, Arizona sometime afterwards; she had gone there to escape marital problems. Flickinger returned from Yuma to the Erie area where she attempted to raise her two sons and three daughters. She had only been living in Erie for a short time when a boyfriend came and picked her up.
Flickinger told her children and her mother she was going to California and would return once she had gotten her life together. She has never been heard from again. Her mother did not know the name of the man she left with, but he was White and may have been a member of the military. Flickinger lead a transient lifestyle at the time of her disappearance and had traveled across the western United States. Sometimes she took her children with her; other times she left them with relatives, but she always returned for them eventually.
Flickinger's children lived with her mother for a time, then were adopted by other families. She was not reported missing until 2007; police had received to accept a report prior to this, because she is an adult and left Erie willingly. The circumstances surrounding Flickinger's disappearance are unclear.