Bratislava, Slovakia – Croatian authorities said they have finally established the identity of a mysterious woman found on an island earlier this month.
In a statement, Croatian police said the woman was 57-year-old Slovak national Daniela Adamcova.
The woman was found on the Croatian island of Krk on September 12 with visible bruises on her face and apparent memory loss.
Rescued after local fishermen heard her cries for help in a remote and wild part of the island, she said she had no recollection of who she was or where she came from, speaking in “perfect English”.
“According to what has been established so far, the Slovak citizen stayed in Croatia as a tourist,” local police said.
A few personal belongings were found in her backpack, but no phone nor any documents that could have helped police confirm her identity quickly. Her picture was later published by local authorities and the case drew significant international attention, with Croatian police receiving dozens of tips that eventually helped ascertain her identity.
Information provided by a former colleague in Los Angeles, where Ms. Adamcova is believed to have lived until 2015, are what apparently allowed Croatian authorities to solve the case.
“Daniela had run into hard times and bad luck,” said Nina Smidt, who reportedly worked with Ms. Adamcova making jewellery for Hollywood stars such as Barbra Streisand or Brigitte Bardot. “But she was a really good worker, smart and she has a wonderful heart. [We] 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.”
According to reports, she left her hometown of Trencin, north of Bratislava, in 1984 to study fashion design in Santa Monica, before returning to Slovakia in 2000. She later came back to the US, then worked in Ireland in shelters for the homeless, before again moving back to Trencin.
Testimonies from several tourists holidaying in Croatia suggest Ms. Adamcova was traveling alone.
After being found “with light injuries and disoriented”, she was transferred to a hospital in the town of Rijeka, and Croatian social services are set to take over after her release from hospital care.
Croatian police appear to have ruled out foul play to explain her injuries, which could have been the result of several nights spent alone in a wild and inhospitable part of the island.