General Question

kiayaphd's avatar

Police procedure: who is most likely to investigate an assault on a victim who has amnesia about their identity and the crime?

Asked by kiayaphd (7points) August 29th, 2009

I am a writer, working on a new manuscript. In the story, a young woman has been discovered in an alley. She is unconscious, has been brutally beaten and shot. She survives her assault but when she regains consciousness, she has no memory for her identity or her assailants.

Which unit in a large urban police department would be assigned to investigate? Who is the first responder?

I appreciate all responses.

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13 Answers

The_Compassionate_Heretic's avatar

A police psychologist would likely work with detectives in an attempt to treat the amnesiac condition so that the detectives could get the information they need to proceed with their case.

That’s assuming the police department had those sorts of resources.

If not, an expert could be brought in from outside the area. Maybe a small town in brings in a big city expert.

gailcalled's avatar

Idiom is “memory of.”) Anne Perry’s William Monk is the Victorian detective with amnesia himself.

dpworkin's avatar

Small Southern towns bring in Sidney Poitier.

EmpressPixie's avatar

@gailcalled: Anne Perry has first hand knowledge of murder that we encourage people to not achieve on their own.

gailcalled's avatar

@EmpressPixie: I am astonished at Perry’s history. I had no clue.

Noel_S_Leitmotiv's avatar

A television writer.

aprilsimnel's avatar

@gailcalled – You might be interested in the film Heavenly Creatures, which was about the case and the release of which revealed Anne Perry’s true identity. It was one of Peter Jackson’s first films that wasn’t scatological and it starred a young Kate Winslet. Fantastic film.

Re: this hypothetical case, it would most likely be the detectives of the precinct in which the crime took place. In an actual murder, it would go to the Homicide division (if you’re talking about a big city).

Ed McBain. Read him. Know him. Love him. May he rest in peace. He was was one of the best policier writers there ever was.

gailcalled's avatar

@aprilsimnel @EmpressPixie I am always thrilled to learn new information of this genre.
Thank you, both.

filmfann's avatar

CSI-ANUS (Crime Scene Investigation – Amnesia Non-Urgent Specialist)

kiayaphd's avatar

Thanks for your responses. I assumed the case would be assigned to a detective, but then I wondered if the case would be assigned to a specialized missing persons unit, once it was discovered that the victim did not know who she was.

aprilsimnel's avatar

If the victim is an adult and no one has called her in as missing after 72 hours? Nope. Perhaps they’d do a cursory run of a missing persons database to be sure, but if there’s no hits, then, nope. Adults can disappear as they please. Unless they don’t pay their taxes, of course.

kiayaphd's avatar

Great. This was just what I needed. Thank you!!

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