Magdeline Makola may have spent as long as 10 days in the trunk, Scotland on Sunday reported. Police said she was wearing night clothes and was dehydrated and suffering from hypothermia when they rescued her about noon Friday.
"It has been an exceptionally traumatic period for Magdeline," Chief Inspector Tommy Tague of the Borders and Lothian police. "We were absolutely delighted to find her."
Investigators suspect a casual acquaintance of Makola, a man she met several years ago. They say her cash cards were used while she was missing.
Police said they found Makola's Vauxhall Astra in a suburban neighborhood in Airdrie, 12 miles east of Glasgow, The Guardian reported.
Makola, 38, was reported missing when she failed to report for work Dec. 18 at the cardiology unit at Edinburgh Royal Infirmary. She had been last seen when she left work Dec. 15.
Investigators released few details about the discovery or her condition.
"At the moment this inquiry is at its very early stages, and we need to establish the exact circumstances of how Magdeline came to be within the boot of the vehicle," a police spokesman said. "We have come to no conclusions whatsoever on how she came to be there and how long she was in the boot for."
Makola, a native of South Africa, has been working at the Royal Infirmary since her arrival in Scotland six years ago.