The mystery of the Queensland woman who has been lying unidentified in hospital for nearly a month is still unsolved. But police say they now believe she knows who she is, but is refusing to tell anyone.
As a result, they will now close their investigation as they have no evidence of any crime being committed.
According to Superintendent Craig Hawkins, the women – believed to be in her ‘80s – has said she is aware of her identity but does not want to reveal it.
There is no criminality involved
“There’s no criminality and no other reason why police should ask for her identity, so we’ll respect her wishes,” he said.
“What this lady may have been through and her reasoning for taking the stance that she has, is her own.”
Hawkins added: “Our main focus is that she’s safe and well — she’s an adult, she can care for herself and, as an adult, she’s quite entitled to manage herself.”
Found wandering on a rural road
The very frail woman came to national attention when she was found wandering in an apparently confused state on the side of a rural road near the small town of Mooloolah Valley on the Sunshine Coast.
A stranger took her to the Nambour General Hospital and she was subsequently transferred to Sunshine Coast University Hospital, where she has been gradually regaining her strength.
Photographs of her, plus a ring she was wearing, have been widely circulated locally and throughout Australia, but nobody has yet come forward to identify her.
People living in and around the Mooloolah Valley area, which has a small population who are mostly familiar with each other, said they had never seen her before.
Public Advocate taking an interest
The Public Advocate of Queensland, Mary Burgess, told the ABC last week it was a “very unusual case” and that she would take an active interest in the matter.
She has the authority under the Guardianship and Administration Act to work through the protocols designed to protect the vulnerable, the ABC reported.
Burgess said the process could move more swiftly, but in this instance authorities were likely hoping a family member or friend would come forward.