Mystery man who woke in park is identified but questions remain

Earlier today The Seattle Times ran a story about a mystery man who wandered out of the city’s Discovery Park three weeks ago. He was wearing an expensive shirt, pressed khakis, blue blazer and $600 hidden in his sock. The man wasn’t injured in any way but that he was lost, confused – and scared.

While the mystery around the man deepened the doctors at Swedish Medical Center’s Cherry Hill campus believe that he isn’t faking but they are at a loss as how to help him. The man, who temporarily was named John Doe, said he woke in the park on July 30 groggy, dehydrated and disoriented.

“We see this from time to time, and normally it turns out to be something else,” said Dr. Bruce Larson, a psychiatrist affiliated with Swedish who has been attending to Jon Doe.

“We do see people who are feigning or exaggerating for their own reasons. But I was the third psychiatrist who saw him. And all of us have gotten a sense that he’s very genuine.”

Seattle police have taken Jon Doe’s fingerprints and sent his photograph to police and college organizations around the world. But so far there are no clues to his identity and nothing that suggests he is a criminal or crime victim, said Mark Jamieson, a police spokesman.

But detectives are still trying to find other leads, he said.

Well it took the Internet much less time and a lot more success than the police officers who had been trying to track down any information about the man. Within hours of the story being posted to the Seattle Times site a reader, David Akast, identified the man as Edward Lighthart. Akast said that Lighthart was an English teacher he knew from China and had an incredible knowledge of European cultural history.

What happened to Mr. Lighthart to land him in this situation is still a mystery though.


image courtesy of Seattle Times/ Mike Siegel