Norway police seek help to solve snowdrift man mystery

The mystery man found in Oslo

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Police in Norway have released photos in a bid to identify a young man found in a snowdrift near Oslo in December, apparently suffering from amnesia.

Police say they do not know where the man comes from but that he speaks good English with an East European accent.

A police spokesman told the Norwegian VG newspaper there was reason to believe he had been a victim of crime.

The man, who calls himself "John Smith" for now, agreed to his photo being released after inquiries drew a blank.

His fingerprints and photo were sent to East European police forces via Interpol but without success.

"The man did not possess any form of identification, and did not remember his name, origin, how he ended up in Norway or any other details of his life," the police said in a statement.

"[He] is of European origin, speaks very well English with a Eastern/Central-European accent, and understands Czech, Slovak, Polish and Russian languages. He is 187 cm [6.1 ft] tall, has blue eyes and dark blonde hair."

According to the police, he is aged in his twenties and was found in a snowdrift in an industrial area east of the Norwegian capital.

Amnesia, the partial or complete loss of memory, is usually associated with either physical trauma such as a blow to the head or some sort of psychological trauma.

It is usually a temporary condition and tends to affect only a certain part of a person's experience.

'Clear-headed'

Police prosecutor Sturla Henriksbo told VG that despite his apparent amnesia, the man could "reason and think clearly".

He said that aspects of the case had led police to suspect the man was a victim of crime but he did not elaborate.

His case is being handled by the violence and sexual crimes branch of the Norwegian police.

In 2003, a young Asian man turned up in Norway with similar memory loss and was dubbed Mr X by the media. The last thing he could remember was being in Switzerland and wanting to go to Norway to see one of its famous stave churches.

It was eventually established that the man was Japanese but only the return to his home country helped him piece together his identity.

Last year a court in the German capital Berlin sentenced a young Dutchman to community service for tricking officials into thinking he had lived in a forest for years with his father.

Robin van Helsum, 21, admitted making up a story that his parents were dead and that he did not know who he was or where he was from.

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