'Woman in Black' Roaming Highways Identified As Former U.S. Army Veteran
by Lisa Fogarty
A mysterious woman dressed head-to-toe in black has been spotted all over the country, walking by herself along highways in the Southeast and Midwest. The "Woman in Black," as she has become known on several social media sites, is attracting so much attention from curious folks -- who include 51,000 followers on a Facebook page dedicated to her -- that police had to step in and help her out when she was reportedly surrounded by 50 people demanding answers from her while she strolled through Virginia. Her response to those who just want to know what she's up to is refreshing and unusual.
Though very little is known about her, the woman is believed to be Elizabeth Poles, 56, a U.S. Army veteran from Georgia. She has two children and has been receiving help from the Veterans' Affairs hospital to cope with the deaths of her husband and father -- who died in 2008 and 2009, respectively.
Poles' brother, Raymond, says she suddenly started wandering for months while wearing flowing black robes and carrying just a black bag and a stick in her hand.
In the last two months, the woman has been spotted along highways in Alabama, Georgia, Ohio, Kentucky, Tennessee, and West Virginia. She has garnered a cult following of sorts, and tons of people have reportedly offered her food and assistance -- money, even -- but she always refuses their help.
Some have become so intrigued by her that they've snapped her photo as she walks and posted it to Twitter and Facebook.
Coles reportedly wants to stay in Virginia, and police have helped her by finding her a safe place to stay. The only thing she has revealed when asked about her solo journey is that it is related to "faith and religion." She has asked that people respect her privacy and leave her alone.
How often do you hear about a person who DOESN'T want attention? Who is doing something for herself, by herself, and looking inward to find the peace she needs in her life? Let's hope everyone really does respect her wishes because whatever this woman is going through is her own business. She has chosen to deal with her pain in a way that she sees fit.
What do you think of the "Woman in Black" and her journey across the country?
Does she need help or should she be left alone?