Category Archives: Interpol’s Missing Person Database

The Miracle of Social Media

For a Southern California woman battling ovarian cancer, social media has been a lifesaver. After being found by firefighters on a street corner, she had no idea who she was. The only information the firefighters could get from her was that she thought her name could possibly be “Sam”. It was obvious that she was suffering from amnesia and that she was in desperate need of assistance. Once she was transported to the local hospital, it was established that “Sam” had stage 3 ovarian cancer. It was believed that antibodies from her tumor were actually causing her amnesia.

Realizing the dire situation, Daniel Amen recently noted that a Facebook page was established to try and locate family/friends of “Sam”. She spoke with a slight Australian accent, so she was also listed on an Australian missing persons list, as well as Interpol’s missing persons database. In addition, her story was picked up by reporter Steven Luke of San Diego, California. After placing her pictures on his Facebook account, her photos were shared over 200,000 times. Once the television news station that Mr.. Luke worked for aired her story, the nephew of “Sam” realized that she was his aunt.

“Sam” was actually 53-year old Ashley Manetta, from Southern California. She had family located in Maryland and in Colorado. After relocating from Pennsylvania to California, her family had “lost track” of Ashley a couple years before the incident. By way of the FBI’s assistance, the tip from her nephew helped to facilitate a happy reunion with her family. Though she was not a native to Australia, Ms. Manetta has visited the country several times.