Kitty Jordan, who took her name from a slip of paper in her pocket when she showed up here in December with little memory, has discovered she probably is Ruth Ellish, a divorced mother of three from Ohio.
Investigators who struggled all year to help the black-haired, brown-eyed woman find her true identity got a break Monday in the form of a missing person report from Akron, said Detective Walter Keeler.The discovery led to a phone conversation between "Kitty" and Elise Shite, a sister of Ellish in Ohio, authorities said.
"She definitely feels that I am (Ruth Ellish)," the mystery woman said Monday night.
"She and our mother are coming down on Wednesday morning. I don't know if I'll go back with them or not," said the woman who still calls herself Kitty Jordan.
Keeler said his office is fairly certain Kitty Jordan is 50-year-old Ruth Ellish, based on information provided by the Akron Police Department and on her sister's recognition of Jordan's voice.
Ellish disappeared from Akron on Dec. 8.
Two days later, the mystery woman woke up in a Nashville motel with a headache and bruises on one eye, her arms and legs.
"As to what happened and how I got here, we still don't know," she said. "There's a 24- to 48-hour period that's still not accounted for."
She said her newfound family told her Ellish had been under a great deal of pressure, most recently because of "personal problems" with her 18-year-old daughter.
"They said I had been suffering from migraine headaches. That's about as much as we know at this point," she said.
Nashville police appealed for help from the public last week, saying they had exhausted all leads. Since then, they have followed up on dozens of tips from people who read articles about Jordan, whom doctors believe has amnesia.
Jordan's only recollections were "bits and pieces" about an abusive ex-husband, working in an office with computers and seeing the Chicago skyline.
"She does want to remember and just can't," an exasperated Lt. Tommy Jacobs said last week.
On Monday, authorities filled Jordan in on details of the life of Ruth Ellish, showing her pictures sent from Ohio of the woman, her daughter and her two adult sons.
"Right now to me, they're still just a bunch of strangers," she said.
Ellish was a computer analyst at the Alltel-Western Reserve Telephone Co. in Hudson, north of Akron.
Jordan spoke from the Family Life Center, a women's shelter where she has lived and worked as a cook.
The mystery woman said she wouldn't decide about her future until talking with her counselors and meeting the family of Ellish.
"I'm still apprehensive," she said. "I just don't know what's back there for me."