It is certainly one of the most curious stories we have covered in the six years of Total Croatia News, and few stories in Croatia have attracted such global attention.
But now that the identity of the mystery woman of Krk has been solved, some 10 days after she was rescued bloody, dehydrated and disorientated from a remote part of the island of Krk – with no memory of who she was or how she got there – most of the world has moved on from the story, with curiousity satisfied.
The fact remains, however, that there is a 57-year-old woman from Slovakia in a hospital in Rijeka, with no memory of who she is, and with no money to her name. Croatian media managed to speak to her family who have said that they will not come for her. According to an interview on TCN yesterday with the journalist (Laura Siprak from 24Sata) who spoke to one of her sisters, they were not on good terms, and they last spoke over 3 months ago, when Dana said she was moving to Spain.
But there are friends from her past life who do care, and who have been very helpful in both identifying Dana, and providing photos and information about her.
Nina Smidt in Los Angeles is one such person, and she contacted TCN a few days ago with lots of information which indicated that Dana was the missing woman. Coupled with other information we received in the TCN inbox, it allowed us to identify her with certainty 10 days after she was rescued. Several hours later, the Croatian police confirmed that the identity was that of a 57-year-old woman from Slovakia. They had received the same information but from a different source.
Nina has been fielding lots of calls from journalists, as well as many people who want to help. Hearing that there is little to no help from Dana’s family, she has decided to set up a GoFundMe campaign to raise some money for Dana to get herself back on her feet. Nina and her friend Tyler Madsen knew Daniela back in 2015 in Los Angeles, where they worked together, with Tyler helping Dana with accommodation as she was going through a tough time. Later in 2015, they took Dana to the airport to start a new life in Ireland. And that was the last she heard of her until she saw her photo as the mystery woman in Croatia with no memory.
Nina and Tyler explained to TCN why they had decided to set up a GoFundMe campaign for Dana:
“We felt a moral responsibility to support Daniela during this difficult time and to provide a call to action for the next part of this mission, which is getting Daniella the financial assistance she so desperately needs. She is facing unfathomable challenges ahead and is in need of a helping hand.
“The concern from compassionate individuals across the globe, the incredible efforts of the media to tell her story, and the understanding that after the rescue comes the recovery is what inspired us to mobilize this fundraiser.”
The campaign has just gone live, and you can read the whole story – and/or donate – on this link. The target set is US$15,000.
You can follow TCN updates to this story here.