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Police Nab Mystery Woman Off Oprah 3/8 Promo

September 30, 1993

GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. (AP) _ The Oprah Winfrey Show has given Sarah Jones her identity back.

She probably wishes she was still a mystery woman.

Police arrested Jones, who said she didn’t know who she was, after she appeared on a promo for an Oprah show broadcast Thursday.

Investigators say viewers identified Jones as Joan Haberek, 56, of Constantia, N.Y., who is wanted by sheriff’s deputies on charges she stole more than $50,000 from her disabled daughter’s trust fund.

Haberek was found wandering the streets of Grand Junction two months ago, and police and others had been trying to help the woman find out who she is.

On Wednesday, they did.

″She was very upset. I think she was scared. I didn’t see anger. I saw a lot of fear in her eyes,″ said Theresa Anderson, the social worker who has been handling Haberek’s case.

Anderson said a nurse had suggested the name Sarah Jones for the amnesiac.

After being told who she was, Haberek said, ″I must be a terrible person,″ and then began to cry, said Anderson.

Dale Yager of the Oswego County, N.Y., sheriff’s office said investigators might not have found Haberek if she hadn’t been featured in the Oprah promo.

Haberek had been told that appearing on the show, which reaches an estimated 14 million viewers, might lead to someone identifying her.

Haberek and other amnesia victims told stories to Winfrey for a program entitled, ″They Can’t Remember Who They Are.″

Haberek was found July 30 when she stopped at a business to ask for a drink of water. Employees called police because she appeared to be disoriented.

The woman told them she remembered only ″walking for a very long time.″

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