Amnesia Victim Reunited With Fiancee - KTRE.com | Lufkin and Nacogdoches, Texas

10/23/06 - Denver

Amnesia Victim Reunited With Fiancee

A man found on the streets of Denver apparently suffering from amnesia has been reunited with his fiancee after the Washington state woman identified him Sunday night.

Penny Hansen of Olympia, Wash., told TV stations, including ABC News affiliate KOMO-TV in Seattle, that the man previously known as "Al" was her fiance, 40-year-old Jeffery Ingram.

Hansen said that Ingram had left town in September, saying that he was going to Canada -- but never returned.

She said Ingram had a similar amnesia incident in the mid-1990s. However, there's no indication as to what caused him to suddenly forget everything a few weeks ago.

On Sunday, Ingram told "Good Morning America's Weekend Edition" that information about his past was not in his head.

"It's hard to explain," he said. "I just try to look for information in my head, and it's not there. ... It's very stressful."

Denver authorities dubbed Ingram, "Al," after his name at a Denver hospital -- "Alpha 74." After Ingram's parents saw him on TV Sunday morning, they contacted Hansen, who immediately called police.

While she still doesn't know what happened, Hansen is elated to have Ingram back.

"It was extremely difficult not knowing anything," she said. "You go through every scenario in your head day in and day out because you have nothing else to go on and you have to remain positive and keep the hope."

Found With $8 in His Pocket

Authorities found Ingram wandering the streets of Denver on Sept. 10 with $8 in his pocket and wearing a baseball cap. He made an impassioned plea for help this weekend at a news conference and talked about what a difficult experience this had been.

"I feel totally lost, totally alone and very depressed, very anxious about everything, and I don't fit in anywhere," he said.

The first thing he remembered was "picking myself up off the ground outside of a building of downtown Denver," he told "GMA" over the weekend.

Ingram said he didn't remember anything prior to Sept. 10.

Ingram's amnesia is known as a dissociative fugue state: The brain literally tries to wipe the slate clean.

According to the American Psychiatric Association, the condition is extremely rare, only affecting 0.2 percent of the U.S. population.

"In this type of dissociative disorder, the person really believes or experiences that they do not know where they are, who they are, or what's going on," said Lawson F. Bernstein, a forensic neuropsychiatrist.

Doctors and investigators gained clues about Ingram's condition after he underwent psychiatric sessions, including hypnosis.

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