There is no way the mysterious blue-eyed blond Jane Doe who speaks perfect English but claims not to know her name could have have made it on her own to the rocky shore of Croatia’s Krk Island, where she was found last week, say the couple who discovered her.
The unnamed couple had first spotted the woman alone a few hundred meters from where they were fishing at sea on Sept. 12 and thought she, too, had perhaps been fishing. The couple spent the night on their boat and say the next morning the woman was still there and definitely not fishing. “It was already suspicious to us then,” the unnamed man told Croatian news outlet Sata24. “We saw her nervously walking up and down and when she saw us, she started yelling and waving. We approached the shore to see what was going on. She was covered with a white sheet, but it may be that she found a tarpaulin or something and tried to keep warm with it.”
The man’s wife, who speaks English, explained to the woman that the shore was too rough and that they could not reach her. “The woman could not say anything, she just repeated in English let us help her,” he said. The couple then called the local authorities, who sent a rescue crew of 14 people who had to use off-road vehicles and hike more than two miles to where she was. “It is an extremely inaccessible part of the bay with terribly sharp rocks, literally razors that cut the rubber on your shoes,” another resident told the news outlet. “There is no life, no animals except wild boars and bears.”
After unsuccessfully searching missing-persons listings—including cruise ship rosters—and hoping her amnesia would subside, authorities say they are now appealing to the public and combing open-source social media postings to try to determine just who she is. Police also circulated her photo in nearby villages and camping areas on the remote island, but no one had ever seen her before. They have also reportedly checked her fingerprints against various databases with no luck. She is, at the moment, completely unknown.
A Croatian police official told The Daily Beast that while her English is perfect with a “Queen’s English” accent, she could be Eastern European based on the clothing brand she was wearing, though they say so far she has not spoken any other language despite numerous prompts to see if she has other language skills. The fishing woman who first found her said instead she sounded Scottish.
She is around 5 foot 4 inches tall and was wearing a pink hat and striped shirt with leggings when she was found, but she had no identification, handbag or cellphone on her.
Police also say they have no idea how she could have survived more than a few days in the area, which is thick with bears and other wildlife searching for food. She was severely dehydrated and emaciated, which implies she had been on her own for at least 48 to 72 hours. She also had bloody scabs from deep scratches on her face, which indicates she might have fallen. But she did not have cuts on her feet, which implies she did not come from the rocky shoreline.
Police say it would have been impossible for a woman of her age and physical stature to swim the distance from a boat to the island. She had to be removed on a stretcher because she was too weak to walk. Surveillance cameras on the only bridge that links the island to the mainland have so far not yielded any clues.
She is being treated at a hospital in the Croatian mainland city of Rijeka.