Mystery Woman in Croatia: Daniela from Slovakia?

Total Croatia News

Updated on:

MUP/Nina Smidt
MUP/Nina Smidt

September 22 – 22:30 Many more details emerge, including interview with waiter who took her to the remote bay.

September 22 Update at 13:00 – Official Croatian Police Statement confirming the identity of the mystery woman.

September 22, 2021 – Ten days after being rescued on a remote part of Krk with no memory of who she is or how she got there, has the identity of the mystery woman in Croatia been discovered?

It is an extraordinary story which has attracted global attention but few answers, a story which still has much in need of explanation. 

As previously reported on TCN, a woman speaking English and with no memory of who she was or documents to identify her was found in a confused and weakened state with cuts to her face on a remote part of the island of Krk back on September 12. She was rescued by the Rijeka branch of the Croatian Mountain Rescue Services and transferred to hospital in Rijeka, where she is said to be in a stable condition. 


(Rijeka Croatian Mountain Rescue Service rescuing the lady)

Desptie global media coverage (including CNN, The Guardian and the Daily Mail), the woman has still to be positively identified officially. Initial suggestions that she had a Scottish accent came from a brief exchange with the woman by the wife of the fisherman who found her. Apart from that, nothing. 

After days of almost no information, there was a flurry of activity on the case in the Croatian media yesterday, as reported on TCN. Among the developments was the first possible link to Slovakia regarding the woman’s identity – it would be the first of several:


The portal transmitted the testimony of Czech tourists who claim to have met her.

“I met her on Thursday, September 9, in Drvenik, near Makarska,” a reader who was on vacation in Croatia with her husband told the Czech portal.

“She told us about how she travels and that she is retired, and her friends are still working. So she went on the trip alone. Because she was afraid of a 14-day quarantine upon her return to Slovakia, she turned off her phone and removed her SIM card,” they added.

“She also wanted to go to Lika, which is still far from the island of Krk. She was very intelligent, she told us that she had been in England for some time, so she spoke English well,” the tourist concludes.

“I can confirm that we received information about the woman from the witness. We forwarded them to the Croatian police and, if necessary, we will help in the investigation,” said the spokesman of the Czech police, David Schön.

Index also reported on the Slovakian connection:

But, contrary to the information that suggested that the woman found could be British, a new one appeared according to which it could be a Slovak woman. As Index unofficially finds out, that is information that the police are seriously checking, but they are also checking several other indications.

Police are cautious because no disappearance has been reported for the woman.


An appeal for more information in yesterday’s article led to two very interesting exchanges in the TCN inbox, both of which show the power of a global appeal, as well as the determination of individuals to help. While we wait for official confirmation of the woman’s identity, those email exchanges are not only consistent, but provide a fascinating side story to the search for her identity. Both have been shared with the Croatian authorities. 

Nina Smidt in Los Angeles says she knew the woman well, although she has not heard from her since 2015 when she took her to Los Angeles Airport to start a new life with a friend in Ireland. She gave this statement to the police:


“I recognized the woman in the photo immediately as Daniela A (editor’s note – surname supplied, but not published until official confirmation), a Slovakian woman who had worked for a company where I was the Operations Manager in Los Angeles in 2015. The company had hired her through a non profit organization that helps people transitioning out of homelessness. Daniela had been in and out of Women’s transitional housing and shelters. At the time, the company was working out of Second Space in downtown LA where owner Tyler Madsen has a long history of helping the homeless community. Daniela had told us that she wanted to go to Ireland where she had a good friend that she could stay with. Tyler generously let her move into Second Space rent free so she could save up the money to get off of Skid Row. In July  2015 she left for Ireland and that was the last we heard from her. 

“The second I saw her picture, I sent it to Tyler to confirm that it was her, which he confirmed. 

“I contacted the police in Krk right away and sent an email to the local Croatian police stations with her name, email and photos. 

“Daniela had run into hard times and bad luck. But she was a really good worker, smart and she has a wonderful heart. Tyler and I are concerned about her well being and are hopeful that now that her identity has been confirmed by the embassy, her family will be able to help find out what happened to her.“


The name Daniela was also consistent with another email I received, with one VERY determined person trying to help, also in the States. Laura Nowak provided the following information:

I found her in photos from a company called The Giving Keys in Los Angeles California. I reached out to the company and the owner and they didn’t know her name but believed she attended the event with someone they had hired through Downtowns Women’s Center in LA as well. I located who I believe is also her in some other photos from different organizations and I feel really strongly that it’s her. I haven’t been able to confirm but her name may be Danijela, possibly originally from Slovakia. It was passed along to authorities by someone else that was also looking I believe.


The photo link that Laura provided was to what looked like an office party back in 2014, a rather obscure part of the Internet in 2021. I asked her how she had found them:

I was struggling last night to figure out who to contact but I got more leads this morning. I run a group on Facebook to try helping connect lost family members, debunk catfish/scammers random things like that. I used facial recognition to ID her and then it was just a matter of following the trails and looking for the other people in photos as well and combing through instagrams until I saw someone that had a name posted. 

Dedication indeed. 

I’ve been watching for news stories that have contact info listed and have tried so many. I saw you all posted about the wallet and you were the first ones to reply to me and take me seriously. So I greatly appreciate your time!! Granted I looked last night and it was 3:45am in Croatia when I started trying to contact people. Lol. CNN had an article about it and they didn’t respond. I called my local non emergency number last night and was like “hi this will sound crazy but I think I ID’d this mystery woman and I don’t know what to do” I sat on hold for the FBI tip lines here and nothing.

Laura also provided a link to a 2008 feature story on Daniela in her native Slovakia, where her name is similar to the one given by Nina, above. The surname is slightly different, perhaps anglicised as Daniela started a new life in the States..


I should stress that the woman has not been officially identified, but these photos (down to a mole on the left cheek) look pretty convincing. If confirmed, they would solve one part of this extraordinary story. What remains to be established is how she got there, what happened to her, and why she lost her memory. 

If you have more relevant information to this story, please contact us on [email protected] 


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