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October 3, 2008

222 South Warren Street
Trenton, NJ 08625
Contact: Ellen Lovejoy
(609) 292-3703
Further Information:
Ellen Lovejoy

HSP follow tips to identity longtime psychiatric hospital patient
HSP follow tips to identity longtime psychiatric hospital patient
Public outpouring results from attempts to learn “Jane Doe's” background

 

TRENTON - The Human Services Police Department (HSPD) has received several tips and an overwhelming display of public support in its efforts to learn the identity of a woman who has been in state psychiatric hospitals for 14 years.

HSPD is aggressively pursuing the mostly anonymous tips it has received since issuing a press release and photographs on September 8 th in an attempt to identify the aging and deteriorating Hagedorn Psychiatric Hospital patient.

“We have gotten a tremendous outpouring of information and sensitivity from the public,” said Lt. Eduardo Ojeda, who revived efforts to find out more about the woman. “We are very confident we will find out who she is.”

“In the first week after the press release, we received about 18 calls a day,” Ojeda said. .

“Some calls were from people whose mothers have been missing for a long time. Others just offer their sympathy. A few have even offered and to ‘adopt' her into their families and take care of her,” Ojeda said. “It's amazing, and we want to thank all of the U.S. and foreign newspaper, television and radio outlets that covered the story.”

Ojeda has received information from several anonymous sources about the patient's possible identity and is in the process of trying to corroborate the information.

“We are following every lead,” he said. “Some callers think they recognize her. We continue to welcome any possible clue , even if they prefer to remain anonymous.”

The woman, who is believed to be in her 60s or 70s, and Hispanic, was first brought to Marlboro Psychiatric Hospital in November 1994 after being found wandering inside of Woodbridge Shopping Mall. She was transferred to Ancora Psychiatric Hospital when Marlboro closed in 1997 and has since been transferred to Hagedorn Psychiatric Hospital .

Though she said her name was Elba Leonor Socarras, authorities were never able to confirm her identity and amnesia has prevented her from sharing any other identifiable information. She also at times has indicated her name might be Anna.

The woman was well-dressed and wearing a wedding ring when she was found.

HSPD has repeatedly checked missing person records, foreign consulates and worked with law enforcement agencies nationwide in an attempt to identify her. Previous efforts to get the public to provide information also have proved unsuccessful.

She is registered with the New Jersey State Police Missing Persons Unit; also the Camden County Sheriffs Office worked on the case while she was at Ancora.

Anyone with any information that can help to identify the patient is asked to call Lt. Ojeda at 609-633-3673.

 
 
 
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