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Police name 'Jane Doe' found in N.Y.

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'Jane Doe' identified
  • KOMO-TV: Family says this isn't first time woman found with apparent memory loss
  • Kacie A. Peterson, 18, was found outside Manhattan youth shelter October 9
  • Police: Woman claimed not to know her name, family
  • CNN viewer in Maryland identified the woman, police say

New York (CNN) -- Authorities on Sunday released the name of a woman who turned up in New York this month saying she had no memory of her name or family.

She is Kacie Aleece Peterson, 18, of Hansville, Washington, according to Paul Browne, deputy commissioner of the New York Police Department.

Police a day earlier said a CNN viewer in Maryland identified the woman, who was found in Midtown Manhattan on October 9 outside a youth shelter. A photo of Peterson, who had been referred to as Jane Doe, was circulated by police and aired on CNN this week. Authorities didn't release Peterson's name until Sunday.

Browne said Peterson's mother is dead and that her father is heading to New York. CNN affiliate KOMO-TV in Seattle, Washington, reported that her father went to New York on Sunday to bring her home.

The family said it's not the first time she disappeared and then later was found with apparent memory loss, the station reported.

Peterson is from Colville in eastern Washington, KOMO reported. She had been living with a friend in Hansville and attending Kingston High School. The father said the daughter had gone to live temporarily with a friend of her late mother, the station reported.

Video: Doctor explains amnesia

Scott Wilson, spokesman for the Kitsap County Sheriff's Office, said Peterson was reported missing by her father on October 1, KOMO reported. Detectives later discovered bank activity and other evidence that she was alive, he said.

The woman was found outside Manhattan's Covenant House youth shelter around 12:30 a.m. October 9. The organization said that she was not a resident at the time and did not appear as if she intended to seek refuge at the facility.

A security guard for the shelter noticed the woman walking on the sidewalk near Covenant House and approached her. Finding her unresponsive, he called the New York City Police Department.

Police officers interviewed the woman, but it became clear that she couldn't provide authorities with any information about herself. Police said she was wearing military green camouflage pants, a black shirt and a pair of black sneakers when she was discovered.

The CNN viewer who identified her was familiar with her situation and knew she had been missing this month, police said.

Police said they do not know how she lost her memory.

"I just want to know who I am and what happened to me," the young woman said in a statement previously released by the New York City Administration of Children's Services.

Evan Buxbaum, Susan Candiotti and Vanessa Juarez contributed to the report.