UPDATE: A woman found on the northwestern shore of Croatia, who had no memory of who she was or where she was from, has been identified as Daniela Adamcova, originally from Slovakia.
Global News confirmed with Croatian police on Wednesday morning that the woman found is indeed Adamcova.
Los Angeles native Nina Smidt contacted Global News on Tuesday, saying that she recognized the woman in the police headshots distributed to media.
“I recognized the woman in the photo immediately as Daniela Adamcova, a Slovakian woman who had worked for a company where I was the operations manager in Los Angeles in 2015,” she said.
“The company had hired her through a non-profit organization that helps people transitioning out of homelessness. Daniela had been in and out of women’s transitional housing and shelters. At the time, the company was working out of Second Space in downtown L.A., where owner Tyler Madsen has a long history of helping the homeless community.
“Daniela had told us that she wanted to go to Ireland where she had a good friend that she could stay with. Tyler generously let her move into Second Space rent free so she could save up the money to get off of Skid Row. On July 15th, 2015 she left for Ireland and that was the last we heard from her.”
Police said they had “solved” that case and have confirmed her identity with the Slovakian embassy. She is currently being treated and evaluated at a local hospital. Authorities are still uncertain as to how she ended up on the Croatian shore.
“Daniela had run into hard times and bad luck,” Smidt said.
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“But she was a really good worker, smart and she has a wonderful heart. Tyler and I are concerned about her well-being and are hopeful that now that her identity has been confirmed by the embassy, her family will be able to help find out what happened to her.”
ORIGINAL STORY: A woman who has no idea who she is or where she’s from was found on a northern Croatia island on Sept. 12, said local police.
Publication Sata24, the first to report the story, said that the woman “speaks perfect English,” had no phone, was covered in a sheet and had some minor abrasions and cuts when she was found.
Authorities aren’t sure how the woman ended up on the jagged rocks of Krk, the country’s largest island — connected to the mainland only by a toll bridge — but the couple that found her insist there’s no way she could’ve gotten there alone.
The unidentified couple, who were out fishing on the water, spotted the woman a few hundred metres away. They dismissed her as a fellow fisher, and went to sleep on their boat. When they woke up the next morning, the woman was still there, and hadn’t moved far.
“It was already suspicious to us then,” said the man to Sata24. “We saw her nervously walking up and down and when she saw us, she started yelling and waving. We approached the shore to see what was going on. She was covered with a white sheet, but it may be that she found a tarpaulin or something and tried to keep warm with it.”
The man’s wife luckily spoke English, and explained to the mystery woman that the shore was too rough for them to come to her. That’s when they called the police.
“The woman could not say anything, she just repeated in English let us help her,” the man said.
A rescue crew of 14 people was sent to retrieve her, and they had to use off-road vehicles to get close. Then, they had to abandon them and hike more than three kilometres.
Local officials describe the Jane Doe as being in her 60s, five feet four inches tall, with shoulder-length brown hair and wearing a pink sun hat, striped shirt and dark pants. She had no documents to help identify her. There was no car nearby, so it remains a mystery as to how she ended up on the shoreline.
A resident told Sata24 that the woman had not been staying in the nearby village of Soline because she would have been recognized. Surveillance cameras on the toll bridge have not provided any clues.
Authorities suspect she spent several nights outside in the area, which is frequented by prowling bears and wild boar. According to the Guardian, the woman was so weak that she was unable to drink water without help. She is currently being treated in a hospital in Rijeka, on the Croatian mainland.