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Amnesiac Navy vet found at motel moves to Sweden

Aug. 22, 2013 - 10:29AM   |  
Michael Boatwright, Johan Elk
Michael Boatwright, who refers to himself as Johan Ek, is a 61-year-old Florida man who awoke in a Palm Springs, Calif., motel with no memory of his past, speaking only Swedish. He has left the United States for Sweden, according to reports. (Jay Calderon / The Desert Sun via AP)
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PALM SPRINGS, CALIF. — A man who was found unconscious in a California motel and woke speaking only Swedish, with no memory of his past, has arrived in Sweden.

The Desert Sun reports 61-year-old Michael Boatwright was greeted by Ewa Espling, a Swedish woman he dated in the early 1980s.

Public records show Boatwright lived in Sweden on and off between 1981 and 2003. He is a Navy veteran who served in Vietnam.

Boatwright was discovered in a motel room in Palm Springs in February. He referred to himself as Johan Ek, but authorities found ID that identified him as Michael Boatwright.

In March, doctors diagnosed him with Transient Global Amnesia, a condition triggered by trauma that can last for months.

The rare mental disorder is characterized by memory loss, “sudden and unplanned travel,” and possible adoption of a new identity.

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