Benjaman Kyle Learns His Identity
After 10 years of struggling to figure out who he really was, Benjaman Kyle knows his identity thanks to a DNA test combined with some serious investigation.
Kyle traveled from him home in Jacksonville, Florida to Orlando in the hopes of finding out who he really was and from where he came. It was there that he had DNA tests performed by a genetic genealogist who was finally able to crack the decade long mystery. It wasn’t long before he learned that he was 67 years old, born in Indiana where he still has family and his real name.
In celebration of his newly discovered identity, he was able to get a much needed Florida ID card with his name and birth date on it. In true fashion, Kyle hates the picture on his ID, but not even a bad photo can dampen his excitement. He said, “I now exist – and can prove it!”
The Man With No Name
Kyle was found in a Georgia Burger King in 2004, naked, bloodied, covered in ant bites and unconscious. Paramedics on the scene assumed he was homeless given his tattered state and lack of identification, sending him to the nearby hospital to recover. Upon his arrival, hospital staff gave him the moniker “B.K.” Doe as an ode to the fast food restaurant he was found in.
Upon waking, Kyle found that there were sizable gaps in his memory. He found himself unable to his name, address and how/why he was behind the Burger King dumpster. Making matters worse, he was also had zero memories about his life up until that point. His complete loss of memory resulted in a diagnosis of retrograde amnesia.
Retrograde amnesia occurs when the hippocampus or the temporal lobe is damaged by either disease or some sort of trauma. These areas of the brain are responsible for long term, visual and auditory memory. It is still unclear what exactly caused Kyle’s amnesia.
“It was like I was a ghost. Legally I didn’t exist,” he said in the YouTube documentary Finding Benjaman. “When you think about it, it’s pretty pathetic if nobody’s actually looking for someone who disappeared. I mean, isn’t there anyone important enough in your past life that they want to look for you?”
Life Without An Identity
Kyle was unable to recall anything concrete about his life, which meant he was a man with no name until he decided to go by Benjaman because it felt right to him. He also believed his birthday to be precisely 10 years to the day older than Michael Jackson. However, he was lacking any identification, documentation, fingerprints on file nor any family or friends looking for him, which made it virtually impossible for him to get a job, find a place to live or secure a spot in a homeless shelter.
So, he remained in limbo without an identity for 10 very long years. “Sometimes I wish I hadn’t woke up,” he said about his life without an identity.
During his quest to discover his truth, he received an outpouring of support from many organizations hoping to perform the legal DNA test that would finally reveal his truth. Kyle was even featured on Dr. Phil, CNN and National Geographic as well as being featured in many stories by various media outlets both in print and online.
While Kyle’s story is certainly unique, there are many people out there searching for answers about themselves, their loved ones and about where they came from. Health Street offers you the ability to discover your truth at one of our reliable AABB accredited laboratories. Some of the DNA testing services available are: