Mysterious Case of Amnesia Has Police, Family Baffled

The Jakarta Globe

Lian Febriani, 26, vanishes without a trace on Thursday. Her family are at their wit’s end because the Transportation Ministry employee usually returns to the family home in Central Jakarta after work every day.


A day later, a woman wearing a full veil arrives at the At-Ta’awun Mosque in Cisarua, Bogor. She says her name is Maryam but cannot remember where she lives.

She has no identification on her but is carrying two Islamic-themed books under her arm. She tells the mosque’s caretakers she has no recollection of a past.

On Saturday, police officers contacted by the mosque question the woman and eventually ask her to write down a sequence of numbers familiar to her, hoping for a telephone number they can call.

After an intense 10 minutes of thinking, she comes up with a sequence. It is the number of Lian’s husband, Teguh.

Teguh informs the police that he knows nobody called Maryam, but says that his wife has been missing for two days.

Ever since that phone call, police in Bogor and Jakarta have been attempting to piece together the mystery of how Lian lost her memory and turned up in Cisarua with the name Maryam.

Cisarua Police Chief Adj. Comr. Iwan Wahyudi said on Monday that Lian did not recognize her husband or her in-laws when they came to see her but she remembered her baby.

She is now with her immediate family, who are trying to help her regain her memory.

Iwan said the police were looking into all possibilities and were searching the region for anyone who may have seen Lian.

“There are too many questions unanswered. It’s a puzzle,” he said. “The case is now in the hands of the Jakarta Police.”

He said that when he and his officers arrived at the At-Ta’awun on Saturday to question her, she appeared “empty.”

“She remembered nothing. She was attempting to remember but she couldn’t,” he added.

Separately, Edi Irawan, a security guard at At-Ta’awun, said the caretakers had tried their best to find out who the mysterious woman was after she walked into the mosque at about 4 p.m. on Friday and did not seem to want to leave.

“About an hour before she came to this mosque, there were five fully veiled women who got out of a car and prayed here,” Edi said. “After prayers, they looked as if they were searching for someone. They left a bit later. Not long after, Maryam came.”

Lian’s father, Lili Hambali, said on Monday that even though Lian was still unable to identify some of her family members, they were all happy that she was finally home.

He said Lian had been checked by a doctor and was found to be in good health aside from the amnesia. “ There was not a wound or mark on her body,” he added.

While the family did find the circumstances behind what happened to Lian odd, Lili said she was safe and sound now and that was what counted.

“Currently, we’re trying to focus on treating her and bringing back her memory,” he said.

“However, we are also trying to avoid bringing back memories of what happened to her when she disappeared.”

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