Mystery Australian woman’s identity revealed… 108



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We have previously reported on the Australian woman who turned up in a Southern Californian hospital with no recollection of who she was or where she came from, and now, happily, she has found her family.

Contrary to previous reports, ‘Sam’ is in fact not Australian, nor is she British. Nope – the mystery woman that has had the world scratching their heads has been revealed to be 53-year-old Ashley Menatta, a San Diego native.

Far from an Australian, Ashley was born in Pennsylvania, lived in Flagstaff, Arizona (as someone had claimed yesterday), and has lived in San Diego for a number of years, NBC 7 San Diego reported.

Ashley was found after her nephew saw her on the news and told his mother, her sister.

While she may never have lived in Australia, it’s believed she has travelled here.

Previously, Ashley spoke to a US news team about her plight, complete with a British accent and said “I just feel like there is this thick fog over my memory, over my brain, that I can’t see through”.

The 53-year-old has been diagnosed with stage-three ovarian cancer which may be responsible for her lack of memory.

Her identity was discovered this morning, after her nephew saw an online news report and raised the alarm – he had found Aunt Ashley, NBC reported.

“It was extremely emotional, we were all sobbing. They’re so sorry I had to go through what I did during this time without them,” Ms Menatta told the TV station.

So there you have it: case closed.


Tell us, did you think she was an Australian, or did this story strike you as a bit odd from the get go?

Starts at 60 Writers

The Starts at 60 writers team seek out interesting topics and write them especially for you.

  1. No matter what, she is reunited with her family. Lovely ending to a mystery we didn’t live, experience, nor ‘walk in her shoes’ ourselves. No judgement from me 🙂

  2. I felt she wasn’t from Australia, her accent certainly wasn’t, & the sites she remembered were tourist sites, ie Cottesloe, & Bondi Beaches. So pleased she is back with her family. Maybe everyone needs a microchip like dogs!

    1 REPLY
    • Microchip sounds like a good move. It was strange that she had no means of identification at all. I am glad her family found her.

  3. why are you trying to make something out of nothing?

    2 REPLY
    • I guess if you had a tumour that caused you to lose your memory and be alone and afraid, it wouldn’t be NOTHING. Maybe you could try and summon a little milk of human kindness for this woman who will now die with her family beside her.

  4. I heard her voice via the San Diego news who interviewed her. To me she didn’t sound Australian at all. What I heard was British mixed with an American accent! I don’t believe it was a hoax. Am just glad she has found her family!

  5. May have been her way of dealing with a diagnosis of stage three ovarian cancer. No one knows how we would deal with that. Good that she has family support now.

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