While wandering California, a man forgets his name and where he came from.

He had no memory of his life.

He woke up with nothing but a duffel bag


In May of 1992, a man named “Pierre” said he inexplicably found himself along a deserted stretch of California coastline.  Feeling weak, hungry, and terribly confused, Pierre spotted a telephone, his first chance to obtain help.  Only then, did it dawn on Pierre that he had no one to call:

“Then I realized I couldn’t phone anybody and that’s when I realized I didn’t know anybody, including me.  Those first few minutes, you’re literally nothing and you feel so empty.  It’s very lonely and painful to be empty.”

Alone and distraught, Pierre searched through his belongings.  Tucked into one of his shirts was a crumpled piece of paper.  It was a library card from the Boston Public Library.  Handwritten on the back was the name, “April, Pierre”:

“It… must be me.  It’s in my belongings, with my socks.  It’s with my shirt.  It’s with my things.”

Pierre’s family found him and sent photos

Pierre claimed he was plagued by hazy memories of San Diego, California, 400 miles to the south.  With just $17 in his pocket, he set out hitchhiking.  Three days later, Pierre was wandering the streets of San Diego, searching for something that might tell him who he was.

“I was so sure this city would bring everything back and it did not.  I saw downtown and said nothing.  I looked at the buildings and they meant nothing.  And I walked the streets of the city for a long time.”

Pierre felt he was hovering on the brink of madness.  Finally, a sympathetic bus driver gave him a ride to the St. Vincent de Paul Homeless Shelter.  Dr. Julie Becker was a Counseling Program Manager at the shelter when Pierre walked in:

“We’ve had cases of people pretending they didn’t know who they were.  But Pierre was very unique, sometimes in the other cases the residents are after something. And that wasn’t Pierre’s case at all.  He didn’t ask for anything.  He didn’t even ask for help.”

After six months of physical and psychological examinations, doctors could find no cause for Pierre’s memory loss.  They did, however, theorize that Pierre was suffering from “trauma induced amnesia.”  While at St. Vincent’s, Pierre concentrated on reviving his lost memory.  Soon, fragments of his former self began to emerge.  Pierre apparently had considerable knowledge about physics, advanced math, and computers.  He even became convinced that he could fly an airplane.  Pierre also found that he had a talent for music and learned to play the guitar in just a few hours.

Hoping to add detail to Pierre’s fragmented memories, Unsolved Mysteries arranged for him to consult with a police sketch artist.  Two portraits were created of people who may have been significant in Pierre’s past.  The first was a man whom Pierre believed was his cousin Luke, nicknamed Curly.  The second drawing was a woman whom Pierre believed was once his employer.  Pierre thought her name might be Carol:

“If I try to remember something too hard, I get a beautiful headache that I wouldn’t want to inflict on my worst enemy… I just want to find out what the past is, if I can.”


On the night of our broadcast, the woman Pierre called Carol recognized him as a former employee.  She confirmed that his name is indeed Pierre April. Carol contacted Pierre and told him that he has two sisters and that his parents live in Lachine, Canada.  The following day, Pierre talked to his dad for the first time in more than five months:

“It was a very emotional moment.  And then I even had to tell him that I couldn’t even trust him a hundred percent, that I wanted a package with family pictures in it and with my birth certificate.”

When the package arrived, Pierre and his fiancée, a woman he met in San Diego, sat down with a friend to get a first look at Pierre’s long lost past:

“It is strange to be told who you are and what you did.  I am someone again.  And for quite a few months, I was nobody and nothing.”

Watch this case now on Amazon Prime in season five with Robert Stack and in season one with Dennis Farina. Also available on YouTube with Dennis Farina. Various seasons available now on Hulu.



  1. cats_bell

    I’m fairly certain I found his profile on Facebook. It looks like he has a happy family and he’s still in CA. He works at a mine as some kind of engineer, I think.

    No mention of his memory loss or what could have caused it.

    Let’s just let him live in peace and enjoy his life


  2. Anonymous

    What caused him to have amnesia anyways? How did he get all the way to California? Hmmm. Sounds funny to me.


  3. Patrick Kerrigan

    This sounds like he had a case of ” Dissociative Fugue” which is the proper name for trauma induced amnesia. The first documented case of this dates back to the 1880’s, and a guy named Ansel Bourne. There are more cases like this around the country, and the world. Many of them undiagnosed.

    Check on the stories of Hannah Upp and Jody Roberts. Also the disappearance of Agatha Christie in the 1920’s.


  4. Kelly

    The whole time I was watching this on amazon prime, I was like he’s French. Can no one tell that from his accent? It was weird that no one had wondered about it or mentioned it in the episode but it was so obvious from the first words out of his mouth. Wonder whatever happened after his memories came back.


  5. Thinker

    Ok but how did he have a memory of San Diego when he didn’t know anyone? Was he in the army at Camp Pendleton down in Oceanside which is in North San Diego County? Did he have family/friends in SD? Why’d he have random memories of San Diego in particular? That’s never been explained and I can’t find any recent (as of late 2017) on him online (except LinkedIn which shows him living back in and working in Canada if indeed that is him).


  6. Anonymous

    I grew up with this man he had always had a super intellect n did at times have possible devious tendencies maybe that’s why his family didn’t go running to his aid…


    • TrekStar1701

      Either he did or did not have devious tendencies. If you knew him as you say you did, then you should be able to tell us for sure whether he did or did not. If you are unsure, then you should probably not say anything regarding it, as it only comes off as you trying to belittle or discredit this man. Maybe you’re jealous that he was on tv. Maybe you didn’t like him when you were younger. I can’t be sure of that, but I can be sure that your comment as it stands doesn’t bring anything new or relevant to this story.


  7. Paul

    I wonder if he and the girl stayed together and if so where they ended up. I agree about his family in Canada too..wth?


  8. anon

    What was his profession at the end? Any idea?


  9. Devynn

    This guy is gorgeous and what a beautiful tongue!!! I was just a little boy back then at this same location area, if only I had been older and there he wouldn’t have lost his memory. We’d be together right now.


  10. kelly

    I dont really recall this story but, I am glad to hear that most of his Memories returned9


  11. Nancy

    Maybe he didnt want the family to come down since he didnt fully trust them…Either way, happy he was found but still a sad story to not have any memory.


  12. Tom

    I always thought there was something strange about this story. When it was solved, his family didn’t rush to San Diego to make sure he was okay. If it were my son who had been missing for months and who had been living in shelters and suffering from some kind of trauma, I would have been on the first flight I could get.


    • Jean

      I agree. I found it strange his family didn’t rush to his side, nor did he go to them. I’m sure Unsolved Mysteries would have paid for the trip just to get the heartwarming footage of the reunion. It seems he’s still a man without a family.


  13. Anonymous

    did they ever find out what traumatic event caused his amnesia?