Mystery English-speaking woman found on Croatian rocks made jewellery for Hollywood stars

·3-min read
Daniela Adamcova was rescued after a fisherman alerted authorities
Daniela Adamcova was rescued after a fisherman alerted authorities

Her face was bloodied and bruised, she spoke fluent English but had no idea what her own name was or where she had come from, and she was found on a rocky outcrop off the coast of Croatia.

Ten days after the woman was spotted by a fisherman on the island of Krk, the mystery of her identity has been solved.

Croatian police identified the middle-aged woman as Daniela Adamcova, 57, a jewellery designer who was once so successful that she made pieces for the likes of Brigitte Bardot, Barbra Streisand and Diana Ross.

Her handmade jewellery even made an appearance on the long-running series Friends.

She was born in Slovakia but as an adult went to live in California and then Ireland.

She was found in a remote area of Krk, an island in the northern Adriatic.

She made jewellery for the likes of Brigitte Bardot
She made jewellery for the likes of Brigitte Bardot

She had no recollection of who she was or how she had got there.

The fisherman was unable to reach her for fear of his boat running aground but he contacted police.

A local mountain rescue team had to walk two miles through rough scrub land which was impassable to vehicles and eventually came to her aid.

She was given first aid treatment to the cuts to her face and then taken to hospital in the town of Rijeka. “She had minor injuries, she also had a few scratches and was extremely dehydrated. She could barely take a few sips of water. We placed her on a stretcher because she was unable to walk,” a rescue official said.

Fluent in English, she could not give officers her name and had no identity documents on her, nor a mobile phone. She was wearing a pink sun hat and a striped blue and white top.

Croatian rescue services said she had spent a night on the shore of the island and was found "exhausted and with light injuries and disoriented."

Nina Smidt recognised Daniela from when they worked together in 2015
Nina Smidt recognised Daniela from when they worked together in 2015

Her photograph had been flashed around the world and police managed to establish her identity after receiving tips from Croatia and abroad.

She is understood to have lived in the US until 2015 before moving to Ireland.

Despite her success as a jewellery designer, she eventually fell on hard times and became homeless.

Police said her condition was "stable". She will be handed over to social services in Croatia once she is released from hospital care. It was not clear what she was doing in Croatia or why she was suffering from memory loss.

Born in what was then Czechoslovakia, she is said to have moved to the US at the age of 19.

She initially worked as a cleaner and in an estate agents but managed to put herself through college in Santa Monica in California.

Daniela Adamcová after she was found
Daniela Adamcová after she was found

She started making jewellery and through a friend who was a music producer came into contact with the film industry.

One of the friends who identified her was a woman called Nina Smidt, who recognised Ms Adamcova as a former colleague.

Ms Smidt got in touch with a local website, Total Croatia News.

She said the two of them had worked at a company making jewellery in Los Angeles six years ago.

“The company had hired her through a non profit organisation that helps people transitioning out of homelessness,” said Ms Smidt.

“Daniela had been in and out of women’s transitional housing and shelters. In July 2015 she left for Ireland and that was the last we heard from her.

“Daniela had run into hard times. But she was a really good worker, smart. And she has a wonderful heart.”

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