Arizona Man Suffers Bizarre Amnesia; Found Walking in Seattle Park
Edward Lighthart walked out of a Seattle park seven weeks ago and had no idea who he was or what he was doing in Seattle.
When 53-year-old Tucson native Edward Lighthart walked out of Seattle's Discovery Park back in July, he knew he wasn't from Seattle, but that was about it.
According to Seattle police, Lighthart left the park confused early in the morning and flagged down a bus. He had no idea how he got there, no clue what he was doing there, and only a small inkling of who he was.
Police say he was well dressed and had $600 hidden in his sock.
He was taken to a hospital in Seattle, where he stayed for nearly a month and was diagnosed with a rare form of dissociative amnesia.
After the Seattle Times ran an article about Lighthart, who was at that point know only as Jon Doe, family members instantly recognized him when they saw his bushy handlebar moustache.
An estranged sister of the man provided Seattle police with Lighthart's expired passport and a social security card.
While police now knew who he was, the light never clicked back on for Lighthart.
"The crux of the matter of who I really am isn't there yet," Lighthart tells the Associated Press. "And I'm not sure that its going to come back. This is one of the frightening things"
It turns out that who Lighthart really is, isn't bad at all.
He grew up in Tucson, but says he has little memory of his youth other than he had an alcoholic father and his mother was addicted to pain pills.
Lighthart, it turns out, was a successful international business consultant, who is highly educated and has lived in Paris, Vienna, Sydney, Shanghai, and Slovakia.
He is currently living in a respite home in Seattle and is receiving counseling from the hospital that treated him when he was discovered wandering in a place ironically named Discovery Park.
Lighthart loses that temporary housing this week, and he says it is unclear where he will go.
"I'll probably be going back to Discovery Park," he says. "I've talked to the social worker at Harborview, and the only thing she's suggesting is a shelter. And I said I am terrified of the idea, I am terrified of being assaulted."
Get the This Week's Top Stories Newsletter
Every week we collect the latest news, music and arts stories — along with film and food reviews and the best things to do this week — so that you’ll never miss Phoenix New Times' biggest stories.
- How 20 Metro Phoenix Cities Got Their Names
Wed., Feb. 10, 7:30pm
Thu., Feb. 11, 8:00am
Fri., Feb. 12, 7:00pm
Mon., Feb. 15, 7:00pm
- Arizona Pro-Marijuana Forces Steamrolling Pot Prohibitionists in Fundraising
- Legislation Would Force Arizona Schools to List Immunization Rates for Infectious Diseases