Czech officers say they have identified amnesiac mystery man found in Norway
The mysterious amnesiac man who turned up in Norway but could not remember his name or where he was from has been identified by the Czech police, their counterparts in Oslo said on Wednesday.
“We were informed tonight through Interpol that the Czech police had identified the man,” Oeyvind Torgersen, an Oslo police official told AFP.
“The Czech police went to his parents… we know his identity,” said Torgersen, but adding no further details.
The information may help bring to an end months of fruitless search to find out the identity of the man who spoke English with a Slavic accent, and known only as “John Smith”.
The news came just a day after Norwegian police released the man’s photos and details to the public.
The tall, young amnesiac was found helpless in the snow near a carwash in Oslo last December. How he got there, and from where, “Smith” claims to have no idea.
“What apparently has happened is that I was robbed, I was for sure sexually assaulted, and then I was thrown onto a street in Oslo,” he told AFP on Wednesday.
“What might have happened is that they took advantage of the fact that Europe has open borders — this amazing European invention — and that they basically used Oslo as a garbage place to dump me,” he said, without knowing who “they” are.
Police refused to comment on the more personal aspects of his testimony, but the violent and sexual crime unit has been put in charge of the investigation.
“Maybe I was too trustful. Maybe I let some people too close to me and they had some fun with me,” said “Smith”.
The man, 1m 87 (6 feet 1 inch), with blue eyes and dark blonde hair, speaks good English and understands Czech, Slovak, Polish and Russian.
But he said he “thinks and dreams” in English, and so thinks he may have spent some time in an English-speaking country.
– ‘Nearly dead’ –
Aged about 20, “John Smith” was in a very weak condition and poorly dressed for the severe Norwegian winter when discovered in December.
“I was already blue in face,” he said. “If nobody saw me, I would definitely have been dead by the morning, most probably much, much sooner.”
“I had on my wrists very big, very bloody traces of plastic strips that they use to tie up cables … It was so tight that even now you can still see spots on my wrists,” he said.
Police initially turned to international police organisation Interpol and more than a dozen nations to compare fingerprints and DNA with their databases to unravel the mystery, but in vain.
No closer to a solution, law enforcers took the extra step on Tuesday of releasing the man’s photo to the public, in the hope of finding new clues.
While “John Smith” remembers nothing about himself, he is sure of one thing: he is a stranger in Norway.
“I don’t think I’ve ever been here before in this country,” he said.
“I don’t think I came to this country out of my own free will because I’m used to a very different weather, a much warmer weather. The weather here is basically hurting me.”
[Image via Agence France-Presse]