As the mystery surrounding an amnesia patient and her past goes viral, people are flooding NBC 7 with clues and speculation as to whom the woman with the Australian accent may be.
In the latest hint Tuesday, Carlsbad resident Ann Dahl said she knows the woman from a Bible study at a Catholic church with a significant location.
“She went by Samantha to us; she called herself Sam,” said Ann Dahl. “She said it was a writer’s name when I met her because she was here from Australia. She referred to Australia back then.”
Dahl told NBC 7 she first met Sam at St. Patrick Catholic Church, which it located at the corner of Adams Street and Tamarack Avenue. The intersection is the same one where firefighters picked up the mysterious woman on Feb. 1, finding her barely breathing.
The woman could not remember her name, age or anything about her past. Doctors at Tri City Medical Center explained to her that antibodies from a malignant tumor, brought on by her Stage 3 ovarian cancer, may have caused amnesia.
Dahl believes Sam was homeless, but she seemed genuine in her faith and never asked for money. She regularly saw Sam at St. Patrick, worshipping and attending the Bible study.
"I know the voice; I know the face, although she's gained a little weight and the whole persona is the same,” said Dahl.
However, one aspect of Sam’s persona is still questionable to Dahl: her Australian accent. After NBC 7 posted the story to Facebook, tens of thousands of people weighed in, many with comments echoing the same skepticism, saying her accent sounds more English.
Sam told NBC 7 about dreams of Perth, Australia, where she thinks she lived. But Amy Schaefer, a Utah resident, says she knew Sam 20 years ago in Flagstaff, Arizona, by another name and claims Sam is 100 percent American. She told NBC 7 Sam seemed "eccentric" back then, often breaking into an English accent. Schaefer contacted Carlsbad Police Tuesday night and says the woman who answered the phone said "Sam had already been identified."
When NBC 7 asked Carlsbad Police to explain, they referred all questions to the FBI. An FBI spokesperson, aware of the increased media attention around the globe as a result of NBC 7's story, said the new information gathered today should help lead to a definitive identification soon.
Many, including Dahl, are not sure what to think of Sam and her enigmatic past.
"I'm hoping to God that somehow this brings an answer to this and if she does have relatives that they recognize this and they find her,” said Dahl.