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Hannah Upp, Who Claimed "Dissociative Fugue" Amnesia, Has Been Lost And Found Again

8:47 PM, Sep 5, 2013   |    comments
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Hannah Emily Upp

KENSINGTON, Md (WUSA9) -- Silence today from the 28-year-old Montgomery County teaching assistant who been lost and found twice now.

Hannah Upp claimed the first time to have suffered from a bizarre, temporary form of amnesia called dissociative fugue. She found herself in the area of Georgia Avenue and Shorefield Road where she used a cell phone of a passerby to call her mother who then picked her up. 

New Yorkers searched for Hannah Upp for three weeks until deckhands on the Staten Island Ferry pulled her out of the Hudson. "When we pulled her out, she took one gasp of air," said Emphraim Washington. "At least we knew she was alive. Cause when we first seen her there floating face down, I hate to say it, to be honest, we thought she was dead," said Mike Sabatino.

Despite a splashy exclusive interview in the New York Times, plenty of people then and now are skeptical. "I've never seen it," says Dr. Antonia Baum, a psychiatrist in the Montgomery County town of Somerset. "I've been in practice a good long while. It is that uncommon."

This time, searchers found Hannah Upp after just a few days walking on solid ground near Wheaton Regional Park. "When you start to see a pattern like that, you really start to wonder, 'Ok, what's going on with this person?'" says Dr. Baum. "I would be looking for things with a cyclical tendency. BiPolar Disorder or underlying personality disorder or substance abuse or seizure disorder."

Hannah Upp's cell phone rolls into voicemail now and the mailbox is full.

Organizers of the Facebook page set up to find her say they have no details. The Kensington Montessori school where she just started as an teaching assistant is silent. Police are also offering no explanation.

And her mother, who helped lead New Yorker's on a search for her five years ago; is not picking up the phone either.

Five years ago, Hannah Upp told the New York Times that the three weeks she was missing was like a blank hole in her memory. That she remembered going on a run on August 28, 2008 and then nothing until she was loaded on to an ambulance on September 16.

Upp's mother released the following statement today:

Last night our beloved Hannah was located safe and sound and is at home.  We are inexpressibly relieved and rejoicing.  We are tremendously grateful for your thoughts and prayers and attentiveness during the time she was missing.  We deeply appreciate all who assisted and communicated in helpful ways to the end of Hannah coming home safely, we thank the police for their excellent and responsive work, and we are humbled by community support from near and far.  We ask that you give Hannah time and space now, to spend time with family and friends and to process these events.  Thank you for respecting our precious privacy and boundaries in this time of recovery and healing.  

Barbara Bellus, Hannah's mother,
Family and Friends of Hannah Upp

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