Real Name: Unknown, possibly Lucxi
Case: Lost Identity
Location: Port Hueneme, California
Date: September 8, 1992
Details: On the afternoon of September 8, 1992, a motorist came across a young woman dancing on the meridian of a busy street in Port Hueneme, California. When he stopped to help her, he began asking her questions. However, she could not understand him. He realized that she was mute and hearing impaired. Fearing for her safety, he took her to the Ventura County police station. The police tried to question her, but she was unable to communicate with them. The only clue to her identity was a receipt for a bank in San Diego, 200 miles to the south.
The police had no reason to detain the young woman, so she was released. The next day, a police officer came upon her, wandering along a busy street again. She appeared to be terribly confused. This time, she was placed in a homeless shelter for women. At first, she was unable to formally communicate with anyone. The only thing she could do was pantomime, mimic, and use "home sign language". Communication specialist Chris Barrows was brought in to help communicate with her.
Chris first tried to determine the woman's name. He and Marti Ruble, the shelter supervisor, wrote their names down and gestured to themselves. They then asked her to either write down or communicate her name to them. She apparently understood and began to make hand symbols in the form of letters. Chris wrote down the letters, which spelled the name "Lucxi". When she saw this, she had an instant positive reaction and recognition, which led Chris to believe that this was her name. Lucxi is believed to be the derivative of a Spanish first name. For convenience sake, they dubbed her "Lucy".
The next thing they tried to do was determine Lucy's age. They were able to determine through hand gestures that she was twenty-three. Despite the ease of which they determined her name and age, finding someone who knew her would present a far greater challenge. In the days and weeks after she surfaced in Port Hueneme, the FBI and various missing persons organizations ran checks on her. However, all turned up empty. The only solid lead was the receipt found in her pocket; however, that also led nowhere. Authorities now find themselves at a dead end.
Over the following few months, Lucy slowly began to reveal fragmentary glimpses into her past. She claimed that she had flown on a plane to California, had a child, and had it taken from her. She was then left alone. She appeared to be well cared for. Although she does not have cooking skills, she understands to come and eat when it is time to do so. She also has normal grooming habits, such as the ability to brush her hair and clean herself. Chris does not believe that she was on the streets for long before she was found.
Lucy has brown hair and brown eyes. She appears to be in her early twenties (in 1993). Her ethnic background is uncertain, although she may have been born in Mexico. The police and the employees at the shelter hope that someone will be able to identify her and that she will be returned to her family.
Extra Notes: This case first aired on the February 3, 1993 episode.
Some sources spell her name as "Luxci". According to one source, this is Basque for Luci. The "x" is pronounced "ch". Many South Americans emigrated to the Basque region of Spain.
Results: Unsolved. In 1993, Lucy left the shelter and vanished. In December, she was found in Cotati. She had a small amount of methamphetamine with her at the time. Doctors later determined that she actually could hear but had the mental age of a nine-year-old. Soon afterward, she vanished again.
According to some sources, as of May 1, 2014, Lucy was homeless and living in Santa Paula, California. She communicated with grunts and hand gestures and could often be seen walking around town with a stroller full of junk. She had also been witnessed by local Santa Paulans speaking clear English and asking for small sums of money. These sightings, however, have not been confirmed.
- Deaf Woman is Found Wandering in Port Hueneme - October 3, 1992
- The Bizarre True Story of a Woman From Nowhere - July 30, 2019
- Websleuths Discussion on Lucy (includes articles)
- Reddit Discussion of Lucy