Friday, 24 September 2021

Dana Adamcova: New Details, Chat with Mystery Croatia Woman Family

September 24, 2021 - It is 2 days since the 'mystery woman in Croatia', Dana Adamcova was finally identified, some 10 days after being rescued from a remote part of Krk with no memory of who or where she was. Many details remain unclear, but a lot more information is provided in this interview with Laura Siprak of 24Sata, who has been following the case closely.

It is a story which attracted global attention for several days. But while the identity of the mystery lady on Krk has now been established - 57-year-old Dana Adamcova (full name Daniela) from Slovakia - there is still much which is unknown in the events leading up to her being in such a position. 

While TCN was the first to reveal her name after various contacts from friends and well-wishers in the United States, Croatian journalists have been working more local angles to put together various pieces of the jigsaw, and yesterday we published the findings of an RTL Direkt television report.  

Another portal which has been very active - I did not realise quite how active until I requested this interview below - is 24Sata.hr. Journalist Laura Siprak and I have been exchanging information on the story, and I thought that rather than just report on what she and her colleagues had found and written about, it might be better to interview Laura in her own words. While I have been reporting on this sitting on my sofa at home, Laura and her colleagues have been all over Croatia in search of clues, as well as speaking to members of Dana Adamcova's family in Slovakia. 

Laura kindly agreed to tell us more, and to allow us the use of these photos taken from relevant parts of the story.

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(Dana Adamcova was rescued by the Rijeka branch of the Croatian Mountain Rescue Service. More on that story here.)

You have reported on the case in considerable detail, and little of your findings has appeared in the international media so far. Let's start with retracing Dana's steps before she got to Krk. What can you tell us about her arrival to Croatia and her time before she went to Krk?

We have been on this story from the minute that authorities asked the media for help. My colleagues Meri Tomljenović, Hajrudin Merdanović and Tina Jokić gathered the first information. Soon, her friends and acquaintances contacted us.  We found out that she came to Croatia with a group of people via Regiojet train at the beginning of September. At some point, she left them and turned off her mobile phone.

A couple from Czechia spoke to her at a bus stop in Donja Vala in Drvenik (between Split and Dubrovnik) on 9 of September. We know she was there the day before because she told them that the bus didn't come. Before that she was on Hvar and Korčula. She told the couple that she wanted to go to Lika and was happy that the bus from Donja Vala drove to the place she wanted. Tina Jokić went to Drvenik and Donja Vala to search for clues there. The next sighting was in Rijeka. There she took the bus on the 11th (it's presumed) to go to Krk.  

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(Dana Adamcova was reportedly in the south of Croatia, on the Dalmatian islands of Hvar and Korcula, before taking the bus from Drvenik to Rijeka in the north, and then on to Krk)

2. You have also managed to speak to members of her family in Slovakia. Tell us more about that.

This is the part that intrigued us the most. She has two sisters, one of them is in Trenčin, the same city Dana is from. She also has nephews and a niece. Her sister told us curtly that she doesn't want to do anything with her. Her niece explained that they are not on speaking terms. They spoke last in July, and Dana told her sister she was going to Spain to work as a cleaner or maid. They didn't know she was in Croatia. The Slovakian Embassy were told by the family that they don't want anything to do with this whole case. We know she has an ex-husband in the USA and presumably one in Ireland (she told a friend she married in 2018 and had some health problems). But nobody was looking for her. The missing person report was filed by an old friend from school. 

3. What is the latest update you have on Dana's condition, and what will happen next, do you think?

The last thing we found out is that she is still in hospital in Rijeka. She is stable but still suffers from memory loss. They are trying to determine what led to memory loss and how they can fix that. In my opinion, there are two possible solutions. Either she will stay in Croatia until she is well enough to go back to Slovakia and live on her own, or they will diagnose her and then she will be sent to Slovakia for treatment. 

4. Congratulations on all the details you have managed to discover so far. For such a global story, there was a lack of information for such a long time. If not a secret, can you tell us a little about the efforts of you and your team to gather all the information?

Thank you. We worked really hard on this. It's not really a secret, it's just a little bit of detective work, field work, luck and a lot of experience that some of my colleagues have.

Meri Tomljenović first went to the island of Krk where she was found and gathered the first information. Hajrudin Merdanović was in constant contact with the authorities and he investigated that alley. He has great experience in finding identities. He actually won the prize for the story of the year with the story about the Rainman who didn't know who he was for 36 years.  Kristina Uremović, Nenad Nevešćanin and  I were vigorously searching social and foreign media, Google maps, train and bus timetables. Anamarija Burazer first spoke to the couple who saved Dana.

And then, one evening,  Neno sent me some posts with the photos of Dana A. I compared the photos and that was her. We found out who she is! We didn't publish it immediately because we were afraid of what if that wasn't her. We already found one woman in Zagreb that looks like her and that was a dead end. But Dana's school friend confirmed that that was her and at 8:50 in the morning, on wednesday, we published the article 'This could be my friend from school'. We were very cautious with everything. Also, I contacted Miriam Kelcic who really helped in discovering Dana's identity and her path.

Next morning, Kristina went to speak with Miriam, Romana Šimek and I went to Rijeka. There we were greeted by photographer Nel Pavletić. The first thing that came to my mind was: how did she get to Rijeka. We went to the bus stop and found out that she came there on the 11th and then she sat on another bus that took her to Krk.

So we went to Čižići on Krk, where she was found. The next thing on my mind was 'She had to buy water somewhere'. We spent two hours talking to everybody in Čižići. Then I thought 'If she doesn't have her phone, she has to ask somebody for directions. Where is the nearest tourist info?' It's in Klimno.

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We got there but the office was closed. Next to the office is caffe bar Klement. I went in there and asked the waiter, Stiv if he had seen Dana. He told me 'I drove her to the fisherman's house where she was found'.

I couldn't believe it! At 16:16 we did a live interview with him. Next stop was the fisherman's house where they left her. There was nobody there but the terrain was really bad. A lot of rocks, snakes and some cows. The house was locked but somebody took good care of it. So we went back to Čižići, sat at the first fish restaurant and asked the waiter if he knew the president of the Fishermens club.

We were in luck - it was the same guy who owns the restaurant. He called his friends who were there when Dana came. One of them, Mladen, told us that she asked them how far it was to the nearest big city and that they warned her about the terrain. She still went by foot on those rocks. While we were doing that, Nenad called the tourist companies. And that's the whole story. A lot of teamwork and thinking outside the box. I must confess, I watch a lot of crime shows, so I turned into a little detective as soon as we came to Rijeka. 

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5. What was your biggest breakthough with the story?

Finding her name and the moment we found Stiv. I almost hugged him since we didn't know much until that point. 

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6. What, for you, are the great unanswered questions in this case?

I think there are four key questions. First, a witness told us she had another bag and that her phone was working in Klimno. Where is that another bag and where is the phone? Second, she told Stiv that she was from England and that there are some friends waiting for her at the fisherman's house. That was a lie. Why did she lie? Third, how did she lose her memory? Fourth, where was she between Donja Vala near Drvenik, and Krk? 

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A great team effort by the 24Sata team. Laura, pictured below, concluded the interview by saying:

I think we did our job helping the police and Dana herself with this. The media once again showed that we have the power to do great things when we just do our job.

Dana Adamcova is currently in a stable condition in hospital in Rijeka:

‘The patient is still with us in hospital. I can say that it is medically stable and that in cooperation with other competent institutions to work on further legal proceedings in order to achieve the best in the interest of the patient - her return to her home country. As for her health condition, the patient is in good condition and ready for discharge, 'said the director of the Rijeka KBC, Alen Ružić., for RTL Danas.

If you have more relevant information on this story, please contact us on This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 

You can follow Laura Siprak's articles for 24Sata here.

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Wednesday, 22 September 2021

Waiter Took Daniela Adamcova to Krk, Croatia Spot: New Details Emerge

September 24, 2021 - Update at 22:00 Dana Adamcova: New Details, Chat with Mystery Croatia Woman Family

September 22, 2021 - It has been a day of revelation in the case of the mystery woman on Krk, Croatia. RTL Direkt interviews the waiter who took her to the remote spot she was found, and the American journalist who first identified her.

Yesterday, some 9 days after being rescued in a dehydrated and disorientated state with no memory of who she was, there was little information about the mystery woman on the island of Krk, Croatia, despite global news coverage. 

Day 10 since her rescue has been an altogether different affair. Two concrete leads from California enabled TCN to identify the woman as Daniela A. this morning. Her surname - Adamcova - has since been published, and details of an interesting past published

Croatian police confirmed that a 57-year-old Slovak woman was the mystery woman in a press statement, although they did not name her. 

But while her identity may have been established, there has been no information on how she came to be at the isolated spot on Croatia's largest island, or who was the first to work out her identity. A lot more light was shed on both these things in a television report for RTL Direkt Potraga on Croatian national television this evening.  The key points were covered in an article by Index.hr.

Adamcova is currently in the Rijeka KBC hospital. She is physically well, but she does not remember anything yet. In Slovakia, her family has been contacted, which should ease the whole situation.

RTL interviewed a waiter, Stiv Sviličić, who transported her to the bay with her friend. She had only 100 kuna with her.

"The lady came to my cafe, asking me about a ride to that fisherman's house so she wouldn't go on foot. And that same day my friends and I were planning on going to the sea. And I told her if she would wait for me to finish my shift, I could take her. And when I finished around 3:00, 3:30, we took her there and after that we went our own way, and she went her own way," Sviličić told RTL, which has worked out a chronology of the mysterious case.

The information provided by the waiter was the first real clue that brought the Krk police at least one step closer to revealing the identity of the poor woman who has been lying in a psychiatric ward in Rijeka for days without knowing anything about herself.

"Did she say who she was, what she was, where she was from? She said she was from the city of Bermington (Editor note: Birmingham?) in the United Kingdom, she said the name, but unfortunately none of us can remember, we forgot," said Sviličić.

By morning, she had forgotten him too. Sviličić and his friend transported her from Klimno to Sulinj Bay on Saturday at around 3 p.m.

"She spoke English, we communicated in English. Pretty good English. She didn't have that British accent, but she spoke English quite well. She had no money, so I treated her to coffee.” She had a backpack, a cell phone and a beach bag. She said she was going to meet up with friends. She told him that she had walked from neighboring Čižići.

Asked if there was anything weird about it in all of this, Sviličić replied, “No. No, she looked normal to me, just that she was a little tired from the sun because it was quite warm so she said she wouldn’t really like doing the whole circle, walking. Only a little bit of that, exhausted, but everything is OK anyway, "

She paid the boys properly, took the last 100 kuna out of her wallet when they unloaded her on the pier next to the fisherman's house."And what did she say why she was going there?" "So that she would meet her friends, 5, 6 of them would come. I don't know, we didn't talk too much, she just said she would meet with them, I didn't really ask too much because I wasn't interested, I just wanted to do her a favor so that she didn't have to walk too far."

That was on Saturday, Sept. 11, around 4 p.m.

"On September 12, at 8:30, the police received a report from a citizen that a woman near the sea shore, on the sea shore, was in a place or position in the so-called Sulinj, in the area of ​​Dobrinj municipality," said the head of the Krk Police Station, Dejan Hriljac.

She was mentally in a very bad condition, she spoke English. It was already clear to the police at that time that the lady was mentally in a rather bad condition.

"When the police arrived at the scene, the lady was visibly upset, visibly dehydrated, lost. It was obvious that she was not aware of where she was. When she arrived at the hospital, medical treatment revealed that she did not know hr identity, that she does not know where she was, that she did not know how she came to be in the place she was in. She knew absolutely nothing about the event and the circumstances, added Hriljac.

She was scratched, but without injuries indicating that she had been attacked.

"At first, the lady spoke English with some accent of the Slavic-speaking area. However, as time went on, we got information from the doctor, after all, and the police when she talked to her, that the English was getting better and better. So no more those mixtures of the Slavic dialect, but certainly the English-speaking area, "says Hriljac.

They took her fingerprints but did not find her in the Croatian database, which was expected since there are only fingerprints of persons who committed a crime in that database. So they sent her prints to colleagues in neighboring countries. And as her mental state did not change, the police published photos of her after three days and asked the citizens for help. One of the reports was crucial, and the woman's personal belongings were a mile away from where she was found, in terribly inaccessible terrain.

"So, we received about 30 reports that mostly came by e-mail, and these are people who came from Croatia, and even from America, a few, from Lithuania, France, the Netherlands, so from the European Union. These are people who they know people who look like the person who was found," Hriljac said.

The RTL journalist and the police chief had this conversation yesterday morning. One of those emails, it would be shown by the end of the day, was key to establishing her identity. At that time, the police did not know that yet. The only new thing that morning was that the police, after reporting the men who were driving her by boat, once again searched the terrain looking for the backpack and bag they mentioned.The photo shows the path they took looking for any clue. At least a mile away from where they found Daniela, in terribly inaccessible terrain, they found a backpack and hoped to finally find out who the unfortunate woman was.

"We found her belongings, so the police, in cooperation with the Public Fire Brigade of the city of Krk and the accompanying fire brigades from the island of Krk, repeatedly searched the terrain, which is really inaccessible over a large area. We found her personal belongings, a backpack. However, we did not find anything in the backpack that would lead us to that person's identity. But did you find some common things that tourists have? Common things, towels, clothes, shoes," says Hriljac.

And a completely empty wallet. No money, as she had told Sviličić, but no document. Except for a soaked notebook that revealed the first connection to Slovakia. But nothing personal that could confirm her identity.

"We visited her in the hospital, the police have been with the doctors and with her several times. in order to establish identity," Hriljac said.

."Simultaneously with what I have said, all diagnostic procedures should be taken to confirm or rule out any organic causes of amnesia or inability to remember, including head trauma, brain injury, concussion, epilepsy, stroke or some kind of demented development. In that sense, if we had some real, objective data from some other people," said Letica Crepulj, a psychiatrist at the Rijeka Clinical Hospital.

But they didn’t have info from anyone since in all those ten days no one has asked for Daniela.

"They called from the police station, gave us a description of the lady, asked if anyone had reported any disappearance, if we knew anything about it, let's ask local caterers, local agencies, renters if they have a missing or missing guest. However, no one knew anything. Now, the question is whether she may have been accommodated in one of the cottages in private accommodation, we don't know that part ", says the director of the Dobrinj Tourist Board Boris Latinović.

Did she come to Croatia by train?

That part is still unknown. However, what RTL Potraga published was that she allegedly came to Croatia from Slovakia by train. That latest information began to unravel last night, when the RTL journalist got in touch with a man who is one of the most influential in revealing Daniela's identity.

"Last Sunday I decided to take a break, open a newspaper, see what's going on in the world. I wanted to find something that would take my mind off research and the first thing I saw was that photo and story in The Sun, a British tabloid," says Forrest Rogers.

Forrest is an American journalist and a man who, among other things, helped the FBI detect the attackers on the Senate in January this year. He specialises in searching faces on the internet, but in this photo he was tormented by so much blood on her face.

"I took that photo and removed all the blood using the photo tools I have. Then I got a very good photo of the lady's face. I put it in the face recognition program I have and I was able to identify it with great certainty at a Christmas party in Los Angeles. California."

A mole in an identical spot on both of these photos gave another confirmation. But to make sure it was the same person and, after all, who it was, he got in touch with the other people in the photo, as well as with the staff of the organization where Daniela was at the party in 2014. And that's where he found out what makes it clearer why no one has been looking for this 57-year-old woman all these days.

"It was her second stay in Los Angeles and it wasn't that successful. It was 2014 and 2015. We all have problems sometimes. It was a very difficult period for her. She had a problem finding an apartment and a job," she says. .

She ended up with these problems in the association that published her photos. Namely, it is an organization that helps the homeless and people struggling with addiction. After all this information, it was no longer difficult to find out who it was. Forrest thanks the Krk police for that.

A woman without an identity was given a name and surname. The Slovak embassy will take care of it. But the priority is for doctors to bring her into a functional state. According to Potraga, her sister was also informed about everything. The goal has been achieved to some extent - she is connected with her family. About the case of disappearance, some other things remain unknown, at least for now.

If you have any relevant information about this story, please contact us on This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 

Wednesday, 22 September 2021

What We Know About Daniela Adamcova, the Mystery Woman on Krk, Croatia

September 24, 2021 - Update at 22:00 Dana Adamcova: New Details, Chat with Mystery Croatia Woman Family

September 22 - 22:30 Many more details emerge, including interview with waiter who took her to the remote bay.

September 22, 2021 - Daniela Adamcova from the Slovakian town of Trenčín has been named the mystery woman on Krk, Croatia. 

Index.hr reports that her nickname is Danka, and she was a jewelry designer worn by stars like Brigitte Bardot, Barbara Streisand, and the cast of the Friends series. She reportedly moved around the world several times and traveled often. She lived in the US at the age of 19 and was married to a film producer. After her divorce, she returned to Slovakia in the late 2000s, only to move back to the United States a few years later.

An interview with Adamcova from 2008 is available on the Slovak portal MY Trencin. The portal revealed that Daniela was born in Trenčín, where she lived until she was 19, when she went to America. Daniela said she wanted more freedom and did not reveal her plans to anyone in the family until the last minute.

"I wanted to go to Australia or New Zealand, I called my sister and friends to go with me, but no one wanted to. So in the end, I went alone and ended up in America, in Los Angeles," Adamcova said.

For the first few months, she was assisted by an emigrant organization, both financially and for employment. She also learned the language and worked as a babysitter and a cleaner.

After a while, Daniela started working for a real estate agency and rented an apartment. "Then I decided to enroll in design and painting studies and specialized in handmade jewelry. I also changed jobs, got a job in a jewelry store, and fell in love with jewelry," she recounted in 2008.

Daniela's friend, a music producer with contacts in the film industry, helped her sell jewelry through film studios. Her pieces were later worn by Diana Ross, actresses in Friends, Brigitte Bardot, Barbara Streisand, and the stars of the then famous television series Melrose Place.

In 2000, Daniela returned to Slovakia. But in an interview eight years later, she said she could not get used to life back home.

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"I wanted to come back because of family, to spend some time with them. I wanted to be with my friends, to bring back that closeness with them and with the family I had," she said.

"I've been alone since I was 19, and I've relied only on myself. It strengthens you, but it's still nice to have someone behind you. It's nice to have a family that takes care of you. I realized that there are other joys in life besides wandering the world," Adamcova said.

"It's my country, I'm Slovak, and I always will be. But in America, I'm used to a different system of life, to a different mentality," she says of why it was difficult for her to get used to living back home.

"Maybe it's because it's always sunny in Los Angeles. So when you wake up, and it's sunny, you're always in a good mood. I've never been bored in America. People live there in the full sense of the word. At home, they just sleep," she said. 

However, Daniela remained in Slovakia longer than planned - for three years. "I can't say I'm not well, I have family and friends that I love very much, but I have a routine here. I miss the sun and the sea; without the sea, I'm like a bird without wings," Adamcova said back in 2008.

This morning, the police confirmed that the missing woman on Krk, Croatia was a 57-year-old Slovak woman.

"In cooperation with citizens and the media, officers from the Krk Police Station, the General Crime Service and the Primorje-Gorski Kotar Police Department for Reporting Analytics and Public Relations gathered several pieces of information, which resulted in the identity of the woman found on September 12 on the island of Krk.

Based on Art. 33 para. 4 of the Law on Police Affairs and Powers, the Police publicly published photos of the woman, requesting assistance in establishing her identity, since she could not provide information about herself. The woman had injuries when she was found, which were determined not to have occurred due to a criminal act. The woman was given medical assistance and placed in the hospital.

Since the photos were published, the police have received dozens of e-mails from citizens in Croatia and abroad, both from European Union countries and other countries, who wanted to help the police establish the woman's identity. In addition to e-mail, reports were received in other ways and checked in detail by police officers using the methods and techniques available.

For example, some of the reports received a few days after the photos were published led to the discovery of the backpack, although the items found in it did not help reveal the woman's identity.

Furthermore, the fingerprint databases of the Croatian police did not lead to her identity, so Interpol was informed about the woman, and the help of foreign police was requested.

The first of several reports that led to the woman's identification was received by the police on September 20. As it appeared that the woman could be a citizen of Slovakia, the assistance of the Slovak police was requested through international police cooperation. Thanks to good collaboration and a matter of urgency, a response from the Slovak police was quickly received, confirming that the woman was identified as a Slovak citizen, aged 57, through a photograph.

"The police would like to thank the citizens, in Croatia and abroad, domestic and foreign media, as well as our colleagues from Slovakia, for their help and cooperation in establishing the identity of the woman.

According to what has been established so far, the Slovak citizen stayed in Croatia as a tourist, and the police will continue to determine the circumstances that preceded her arrival and discovery on the island of Krk, in the inaccessible terrain of Dobrinj," the police said.

Police enquiries into the circumstances of this usual situation will continue.

If you have any information regarding the strange circumstances of this case that you would like to share, please contact us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 

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