DAVIS (CBS13) – Davis police on Thursday were asking the public for help in identifying a woman suffering from amnesia who is unable to tell them who she is.
The woman, believed to be in her 30's, is safe and is in the care of medical professionals, the Davis Police Department said.
(credit: Davis Police Department)
She reportedly wandered into the backyard of a Davis resident's home on Sunday, May 30 and appeared confused. She was taken to the hospital and admitted for treatment. Davis police said she appeared to be in good health and was uninjured when found.
Kurt Snipes let his dog, Ruby, out in the backyard in the early evening on that Sunday. When Ruby did not come back to the house, he went looking for her and found the woman (pictured right) walking with his dog on the side of the house.
"I was thinking, 'I don't know this person, what is this person doing in my backyard?' " he explained.
Snipes suspects the stranger came through the side gate. He said the woman was trying to access the field behind his house and told him she was trying to head west.
"I could tell she was not a threat of any kind," he said. "For whatever reason, she wasn't totally lucid, she was confused, not able to talk in a regular conversation."
He sat down with the woman for nearly 20 minutes and later called Davis police when it became clear the woman didn't know who she was or where she lives. Snipes said it did not appear that she was homeless or under the influence of any substances.
"My take: She was just really confused and had some mental health issues," he said.
Despite following up on several leads, investigators have been unable to identify her. Fingerprints and computer checks also came up unsuccessful.
"I've never had anything like this. Like I said, we've had injuries where people are disoriented," said Davis Deputy Police Chief Paul Doroshov. "We've had other times and we've never had it last this long to where we could not connect the person to a record of some sort."
Davis police said the woman has provided several names and different birthdates, but she reportedly believes she came from the east coast. One of the names provided was Ruth Pearlman.
Local licensed therapist, Jena Salvi, said there is a checklist of reasons why someone could have amnesia.
"Making sure there has been no concussion, doing the drug and [toxicology] screens to make sure there is no chemical impact that would be causing this," she explained.
When all those factors are ruled out, that's when mental health experts step in.
"Often it is trauma or when the nervous system, when we have lost the coping tools to deal with the situation and then the body is going to move to this dissociative state sending tons of endorphins in the body, so it can feel good and not really be there," Salvi said. "It really sounds like inside this woman is really struggling and I'm going to guess that there are probably other mental health issues going on alongside of it."
A Jane Doe mystery, Snipes hopes he can put a name to her soon.
"It makes me really, really sad," Snipes said.
Anyone who can identify the woman is asked to contact the Davis Police Department so she can be reunited with friends and family.
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