The amnesic woman who was found on a street in Carlsbad, Southern California, has been identified by her family.
“Sam”, as the woman was known by thousands following her story on social media, has been named as 53-year old Ashley Menatta from California.
Ashley Menatta was found in Carlsbad, unwell and with no memory of who she was.
Her nephew identified the woman from a NBC 7 show about her, according to NBC 7 and Sam’s Facebook page.
He called his mother who then alerted the authorities.
NBC 7 says Ashley Menatta was born in Pennsylvania and had lived in Flagstaff, Arizona. Several years ago, she moved to Southern California where she lived in La Jolla, Vista and Carlsbad.
The woman reportedly loved travelling and never married. Her sisters, in Colorado and Maryland, are said to have lost track of her in 2013.
Ashley Menatta described an “extremely emotional” reunion with her family.
“We were all sobbing,” she said.
“They’re so sorry I had to go through what I did during this time without them.”
She told media she had been diagnosed with stage three ovarian cancer after the authorities found her, and doctors removed a tumor the size of a volleyball.
Doctors told her she was likely suffering from “retrograde amnesia” – a type of memory-loss brought on during the onset of a disease.
The woman’s slight Australian accent led many people, including US authorities, to suspect she may originally have been from Australia.
She also had strong memories of swimming at a beach in Perth, in Western Australia, and visiting other Australian holiday spots.
Australian consular officials had offered assistance in solving her case.
Sam’s Facebook page, set up with assistance from a former nurse who got involved in the case, said prayers had been answered.
“Well, we have some great news,” the post said.
“<<Sam>> (Ashley is her name) and I want to thank you all who have been sharing, searching, emailing, posting, private messaging, calling, texting, twittering, NBC Channel 7 in San Diego, Australian News, England News, police, Missing Australians, Australian Missing Persons Register, FBI, Interpol, and everyone else!!!!
“We could not have done this with out all of your help!”