An international investigation was underway Tuesday into the mystery surrounding a late-stage cancer victim who turned up in Carlsbad five months ago with no memory of who she is and only vague inklings about where she may be from.
The woman, who calls herself Sam, is white, appears to be about 50 and speaks English and French with what sounds like a British or Australian accent, according to the global police cooperative Interpol.
She is 5 feet 7 inches tall and weighs roughly 200 pounds, and has a chipped front tooth and pierced ears.
On Feb. 1, Sam was found semi-conscious on a street corner near Tamarack Beach, wearing shorts, a navy-blue T-shirt with the words “Annapolis Harbor” and images of anchors on it, Sperry-brand boat shoes and a Burberry tie.
She was admitted to a hospital and diagnosed with a rare form of amnesia. While removing a “volleyball sized” tumor, physicians determined that she had malignant ovarian cancer, Sam wrote on a Facebook page dedicated to discovering her identity.
“I have been getting chemotherapy treatments and have lost all of my hair,” Sam recounted on the website. ‘My prognosis is not good, and I pray my family will be found soon.”
Her doctors believe that antibodies associated with her cancer likely caused her memory loss, she said.
Attempting to piece together the puzzle are the FBI, as well as law enforcement agencies in Australia, from which the woman believes she may hail, and England.
“All of my initial dreams (since being hospitalized) had to do with… swimming in a saltwater pool in Perth, then Icebergs in New South Wales and in Cairns in Queensland and Byron Bay,” she related in her posting.
She said she “also had many dreams of Hawaii, living in a contemporary home there.”
Sam, who has been released from hospital care and is staying at an assisted-living facility in Vista, clings to the belief that media accounts of her plight will allow a friend or relative to discover what has happened to her and get in touch.
“I’m hoping,” she told NBC 7 San Diego, “that someone sees me, or (a news story), or something on the Internet and my family immediately says, ‘There she is! There she is!”‘
In the meantime, she has found herself sustained by newfound friends and her religious convictions.
“The only thing I know for certain is I have a faith in God,” she wrote in her Facebook posting.
— City News Service
>> Subscribe to Times of San Diego’s free daily email newsletter! Click hereFollow Us: