Instead, the mysterious 61-year-old told people his name was Johan Ek -- and he only spoke Swedish.
On Tuesday, The Desert Sun said they had located Boatwright's sister, a Louisiana resident Michele Brewer, who said she hadn't spoken to her brother in about 10 years.
"He just disappeared,” she said. “He’s always been just a wanderer. Then he’d come back when he needed some money or something from somebody. Then he’d take off again.”
Doctors say Boatwright is in what's called a “fugue state" of transient global amnesia, often triggered by some kind of significant trauma.
With help from a social worker and media investigations, Boatwright and his doctors have been able to piece together parts of his life. He apparently spent time in Sweden in the 1980s, and has moved all over the U.S. Boatwright has spent the last several years teaching English in China and Japan.