The story about the young English-speaking homeless woman found walking the streets of Rome went viral quickly. People were asking if she is the missing Madeleine McCann. Reportedly the homeless girl drew attention because she was very polite and couldn’t speak Italian. She was staying around the Piazza Della Torretta in central Rome with no passport or ID. She responded to the name ‘Maria’.
But soon after the alarm was raised, the formal identification of the woman showed that she is a 21-year-old Swede with Asperger’s syndrome.
Her father explained that Embla Jauhojärvi, from Stockholm, traveled to Italy six months ago to study. According to the Daily Mail, her father, Tshvo, is in contact with the Italian police and is waiting to fly to Italy to be reunited with his daughter.
He explained that he had not heard from Embla since she traveled to Rome. He tried to engage with Swedish police to track her down, but the authorities told him that the case would not be taken any further because she is an adult.
A spokesman from Rome’s military police, the Carabinieri, told the Mail: “We brought her in, and she told us her name was Maria, that she’s 20 years old and English.
“But the date of birth she gave us would make her 21. We let her go because she hasn’t done anything wrong.”
He added: “When we asked her why she was here, she simply said she left her family in England, without giving a precise reason.”
Asperger’s Sydrome is a developmental disorder characterized by significant difficulties in social interaction and nonverbal communication, along with restricted and repetitive patterns of behavior and interests.
The UK’s Metropolitan Police in London dismissed the suggestion that the woman identified as Embla is Madeleine since the identity of the woman was confirmed.