A relative of a man who was found unconscious in a Palm Springs motel room four months ago and woke up speaking only Swedish has finally been located, the Desert Sun newspaper reported Tuesday.
A sister of 61-year-old Michael Boatwright -- who has spent more than 19 weeks at Desert Regional Medical Center, insisting his name is Johan Ek and has no memory of his life as Boatwright -- was contacted by the newspaper.
Michelle Brewer told the Desert Sun over the phone Monday from her home in Louisiana: "I haven't talked to him in years. He just disappeared."
Brewer estimated she had last spoken to her brother about 10 years ago. She didn't have any way to get in touch with him, even when their mother died last year, she said.
"He's always been just a wanderer. Then he'd come back when he needed some money or something from somebody. Then he'd take off again," Brewer told the Desert Sun.
A social worker has struggled to piece together what happened to Boatwright before he was found unconscious in a room at Motel 6 on Feb. 28.
He carried four tennis rackets, two cellphones and a set of photographs.
On Monday, media all over the world picked up his story. It captured the imagination of amateur sleuths across the country who sent the Desert Sun photos of people who look like Boatwright; Internet users in Sweden said they recognized him as an American who moved to Sweden in the 1980s.
"I'm in shock ... having just rediscovered a childhood sweetheart who has lost his memory in the United States," Ewa Espling wrote on her Facebook wall.
Boatwright learned to speak "decent" Swedish and played on a jousting team with a medieval association, according to the Swedish newspaper Aftonbladet.
Boatwright flew to Palm Springs from Hong Kong on Feb. 24, the day his Chinese visa expired. He was found unconscious four days later. It was unclear what he was doing in China.
Guest records at the Motel 6 in Palm Springs go back only three months, so the hotel cannot verify whose name was on the room where Boatwright was found, a manager told the Desert Sun on Monday.
Palm Springs police have documented Boatwright's information in case anyone lists Boatwright as missing or wanted, Sgt. Harvey Reed told the Desert Sun on Monday.
Officers helped paramedics on Feb. 28 when they were called to assist with an unconscious man.
"That's it, as far as our involvement as of now," Reed said Monday.
A psychiatrist and psychologist have diagnosed him with Transient Global Amnesia in a "fugue state," likely triggered by some kind of emotional or physical trauma, the Desert Sun reported.
Desert Regional Medical Center moved him to the hospital's skilled nursing facility, where he remained Monday as the medical team decides how to safely discharge him.