Fact Check

Lost Girl

Is your help needed to identify a tsunami victim, a young girl who 'does not remember anything'?

Published Jan. 14, 2005


Claim:   Your help is needed to identify a tsunami victim, a young girl who 'does not remember anything.'

Status:   Not any more.

Example:   [Collected on the Internet, 2004]


This is from one of our Italian contacts — it is a little girl who appears to be American. She is in the hospital there but cannot remember anything

This girl is at the Phuket Hospital. She lost her parent and she does not remember anything. Also her nationality is unknown. She doesn't speak, probably because of the shock. Please, forward this e-mail, maybe someone might realize who she is.

Thank you!

Lost girl

Origins:   This is another case of an e-mailed plea to help locate or identify a lost child that has continued to circulate long after its goal has been accomplished.

The youngster pictured above is a German girl named Sophia Marleen Michl who was caught up in the Indian Ocean tsunami on 26 December 2004 and separated from her parents. She was initially treated at a hospital in Phuket, Thailand, and a few days later, after her identity had been determined, she was returned to Germany so she could receive additional medical treatment and be placed in the care of her relatives:

Police Dept. Hochtaunus (West Hessen) press release:

With the stories coming out of media reports about those lost in the sea earthquake in Asia on 26 Dec. 2004, there has been the report of the luck of Sophia Marleen MICHL from Germany.

Sophia was seriously injured in the undersea earthquake, but survived and was admitted to the Vachira Hospital in Phuket.

On 29 Dec. 2004, Sophia was able to be transported from Thailand to Germany, and is receiving further medical treatment here. (Germany) She is doing reasonably well considering the circumstances. She is being lovingly cared for by her relatives. The status of her parents is at this point unknown.

Through the attention of the media and the help of local citizens, it was possible to identify her relatives and deliver Sophia into their hands.

Because of this, a special thank you is being sent out to all the volunteer helpers, but everyone is also requested to please hold off on questions and emails so that Sophia can recover from her experiences
within the circle of her family.

Last updated:   17 July 2005

David Mikkelson founded the site now known as snopes.com back in 1994.