Mystery woman 'Linda' identified by Toronto police
DNA testing confirms she's Linda Hegg of Newark, Del.
Toronto police have solved the mystery of "Linda," a U.S. citizen who showed up in the city three months ago claiming that she could not remember who she was.
Investigators now say her name is 56-year-old Linda Hegg of Newark, Del.
Hegg's story began to make news in September, when she showed up at a downtown homeless shelter unable to tell people there who she was or where she came from. She was carrying few possessions and no identification.
Once police learned of her story, they made public appeals for information about the woman who apparently could not remember her name or her prior life.
Police determined her identity using DNA matching after someone in Newark saw the press release with Hegg's photo and informed police. Police had previously investigated the possibility that Hegg might have a connection to Halifax.
Toronto police Det. Roger Caracciolo said Linda, who was diagnosed with schizophrenia in 1996, was happy to hear that police had confirmed her identity and located her home.
"She was relieved and she was happy to know she had somewhere to go and parents and family," said Caracciolo. "I said to her 'It's time to go home,' and she said 'yeah' and clapped her hands and smiled."
Police say Hegg crossed the Canada-U.S. border at Fort Erie, Ont., aboard a bus on Sept. 3. She was allowed to enter Canada despite having an expired U.S. passport. Police do not know if she was travelling alone or how she made her way from Fort Erie to Toronto.
In piecing together her story, police learned that Hegg has four siblings and two parents who live in Indianapolis. Caracciolo also said Hegg is a "very successful woman," who is well travelled, holds a degree in linguistics and is a veteran of the U.S. Navy.
Caracciolo said it appears her working life became "a difficult trek" after her schizophrenia diagnosis.
Police say Hegg is now resting comfortably in hospital in Newark with her family. She is also back on medication that she hadn't been taking during her stay in Canada.