Sam Australia amnesia
The public have been asked to help identify this woman, calling herself Sam, who has an Australian accent and can't explain how she ended up in California Facebook

The mystery woman, who had an Australian accent and found in California, has finally been identified as Ashley Menatta, 53, after her nephew saw an online news report.

She lives near San Diego, not far from where she was found in February in poor health and with a tumour in her ovary the size of a volleyball.

According to the Sydney Morning Herald, Menatta was born in Pennsylvania and lived in Flagstaff Arizona before making her way to Southern California.

She has never married but has sisters in Colorado and Maryland.

Menatta turned up in an emergency room in San Diego in February with no recollection of her name, age, family or friends. The only clues to her identity were memories that came to her through her dreams which suggested a possibility that she was Australian.

She recalled eating breakfast at an organic restaurant across the road from Perth's Cottesloe Beach regularly and dining out in Byron Bay. She also had dreams of Sydney's Bondi Icebergs pool.

The family lost track of her in 2013 around the time when she moved to Southern California. Her identity was uncovered on Thursday (2 July) after her nephew saw an online news report and called his mother.

"It was extremely emotional, we were all sobbing. They're so sorry I had to go through what I did during this time without them," Menatta told NBC.

Her retro amnesia was caused by the tumour on her ovary, she said. "The doctors said it could have been growing for five years causing me to be forgetful of things," she said. The cancer has spread to other parts of her body and she had to have her uterus and other organs removed, the paper said.

Menatta, who has stage three ovarian cancer, now plans to move to Maryland and live with one of her older sisters.