Mystery amnesiac found in Oslo traced to Czech Republic

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 10 April, 2014, 8:49pm
UPDATED : Friday, 11 April, 2014, 6:02am


An amnesiac dubbed "John Smith" who speaks five languages and was found semi-conscious in Norway four months ago reacted cautiously yesterday to news he had been recognised by a Czech couple claiming to be his parents.

"It's just some claim of some people, so I can't hold my hopes up because this may prove to not be true," he said in English.

He speaks with a Slavic accent and understands Czech, Slovak, Polish and Russian.

After four months of fruitless searching, the Norwegian police revealed on Wednesday that a Czech couple had come forward and identified the man as their son. "He is likely to be a Czech national aged 36. He has been recognised by several family members," Czech police spokeswoman Eva Stulikova said.

"The man's disappearance was not reported in the Czech Republic. The circumstances of his presence in Norway remain unclear," she added.

The latest developments came after Oslo police released the man's photo and details to the public, hoping to find new leads to solve the mystery.

The tall amnesiac was found helpless and half-conscious in the snow near a carwash in Oslo in December. He said he had no idea how he got there or where he came from. "Many people thought that they recognised me ... Based on this one single picture [released by police], they think that they know me," he said.

"But until there is proper verification, it's just a claim of some people. I would love it to be true but I can't hold on to it like it already is."

He feels the police made the public announcement "too early" and called for the investigation to continue. The man is 187cm tall with blue eyes and dark blonde hair. Norwegian police said he is in his twenties.

His oldest memory dates back to December, when he woke up in hospital, he said. "Smith" believes he was robbed, sexually assaulted, drugged and then abandoned in Norway.