Officials Identify NY Teen With No Memory


nycAuthorities have identified a teenager believed to be suffering from amnesia who was found on the streets of New York two weeks ago.

Police say a CNN viewer in Maryland identified the young woman, who mysteriously turned up in Manhattan two weeks ago, claiming to have no memory of her family, her home or even her own name.

The 18-year-old, whose name was not released, is being reunited with her family in Washington state, New York Deputy Police Commissioner Paul Browne said.

A photo of the woman, who has been referred to as Jane Doe, was circulated by police and aired on CNN this week. The viewer in Maryland was familiar with her situation and knew she had been missing from her family earlier this month.

The girl was found in Midtown Manhattan around 12:30 a.m. October 9 outside the Covenant House youth shelter, although the organization said that she was not a resident at the time and did not appear as if she intended to seek refuge at the facility.

“I just want to know who I am,” the girl said in a statement from the New York City Administration for Children’s Services. “I want to know who I am and what happened to me.”

According to its Web site, “Covenant House New York is the nation’s largest adolescent care agency serving homeless, runaway and at-risk youth.” Nearly 7,000 youths reportedly seek shelter there per year.

A security guard for the shelter noticed the girl walking on the sidewalk near Covenant House and approached her. Finding her unresponsive, he called the New York City Police Department.

Police officers interviewed the young woman, but it became clear that she couldn’t provide authorities with any information about herself. The police said she was wearing military green camouflage pants, a black shirt and a pair of black sneakers when she was discovered.

The children’s services agency said the girl recently wrote down the name “Amber” and has responded to it on one occasion, but she has no idea whether it is her true name.

On another occasion she is said to have recalled certain words, which turned out to be an excerpt from the fantasy novel “Fool’s Fate” by Robin Hobb. The girl also is apparently writing a fantasy story of her own that features a heroine named Rian, “who’s been raised by the commander of the guard post on the edge of a fantasy kingdom,” the young woman said.

Judging from her poor dental hygiene, said Lt. Christopher Zimmerman, she appeared to have been living on the streets for some time.

{Even Buxbaum, CNN/ Newscenter}