The Swedish student at the centre of Rome’s homeless woman mystery removed every picture of herself from the family home before she vanished, her heartbroken father told MailOnline.
Embla Jauhojarvi disappeared in Sweden six months ago and was found sleeping rough on the streets of the Italian capital this week.
Despite being reunited with her parents on Wednesday – who flew to Rome after seeing her picture online – the 21-year-old still does not want to go home.
She refuses to speak her native language and will only talk in English or Italian.
She is now being held in a secure unit at a hospital in the city where she is being kept under close medical observation.
‘Embla is in hospital. She cannot leave,’ her distraught father Tahvo Jauhojarvi told MailOnline.
‘Embla took all of the photographs of her from the family albums and off the walls before she disappeared. She cut up her library card into pieces.
‘I don’t know what is wrong with her or whether something happened to her. She was so dirty.’
Hospitalised: The Swedish studenty found sleeping rough in Rome has been taken to a secure unit in an Italian hospital after being reunited with her estranged parents on Wednesday. She was pictured arriving at the meeting in the Italian capital
Desperate: Embla’s distraught father Tahvo Jauhojarviher said she would only speak to her family in Italian or English and does not want to go back to Sweden. He retraced her steps around Rome (above) to thank those who had been feeding her and looking after her
Homeless: Embla, from Stockholm, in Sweden, suffers from Asperger’s and had been sleeping rough in Rome for months. A worried passer-by uploaded pictures of her, which went viral
Concern: Embla’s mother Ilona Kapp, 51, a bank clerk from Sweden, told of her relief at seeing her daughter for the first time since May. She told MailOnline: ‘I have been so worried I did not sleep at all last night.’
Embla’s parents hope to see their daughter this afternoon and her father has been thanking workers in a local restaurant (above) for giving their ‘vulnerable’ child food
Anguish: Embla’s father Mr Jauhojarvi, pictured right in Rome, said after the meeting that his daughter (pictured before their reunion) was ‘filthy’, not having washed at the hostel where she was staying. He saw photos of his daughter on MailOnline and immediately contacted the website to identify her
Mr Jauhojarvi and his ex-wife Ilona Kapp met Embla at the Swedish Embassy in Rome and today he described how his daughter was filthy when she arrived, not having washed at the hostel where she spent the previous night.
‘She would not talk to us in Swedish, only English or Italian,’ he said.
Embla, who suffers from Asperger’s syndrome, was taken from there to hospital where she was kept overnight as doctors assessed her condition.
Her anxious parents are expected to visit their daughter later today.
They rushed to Italy on Wednesday after learning their daughter had been living on the streets of Rome having vanished from her home in Stockholm, Sweden, six months ago.
Mr Jauhojarvi said she removed every photograph of herself from her home before she left.
‘Embla took all of the photographs of her from the family albums and off the walls before she disappeared,’ he said.
‘She cut up her library card into pieces.’
After their emotional reunion, Mr Jauhojarvi said: ‘She’s a wreck. Embla is not herself. She is a different person. She barely talked to us.
‘She wants to go back to living on the street. She doesn’t want to come home.
‘We want to take her back to Sweden but it is so difficult. If she were in Sweden it would be so much better.’
Embla, who suffers from Asperger’s, sparked international concern when pictures of her sleeping rough in Rome were posted online by a worried passer-by and went viral.
Missing persons charities suggested that she could be one of the abducted children on their database, and possibly even missing British child Madeleine McCann, who vanished on holiday in Praia da Luz aged four in 2007.
In an exclusive interview, her father said before the meeting that she disappeared in May and he began a frantic search to find her.
‘It has been such a long time I have been looking for her, six months,’ he said before the meeting.
‘I just want to hold her and make sure she is safe. I want to take her home.’
Resemblance: Embla, 21, (right) was spotted sleeping rough on the streets of Rome. Missing persons charities said she looks like several abducted children, including Madeleine McCann (left) who vanished on holiday in Praia da Luz, Portugal in 2007
Temporary home: Adriano Banchetti, owner of a nearby sports clothing store in the Piazza della Torretta said he saw Embla often and said she had been sleeping rough for months
Mr Jauhojarvi, pictured arriving at the meeting with Embla his estranged wife Ilona Kapp, said their daughter was filthy as she had not washed when staying at a hostel the previous night
The businessman, who divorced Embla’s mother 13 years ago, added: ‘She is vulnerable. She has Asperger’s syndrome. She finds it difficult to communicate. She is shy and does like to speak to people she doesn’t know.
‘Embla went to Rome last year for one week. She must have fallen in love with the city.
‘When she got home she started to learn Italian. She would study for five six hours a night.
‘She has never had any friends, not even one. When she went to secondary school I told her she would make friends. But after three years she told me i was wrong. ‘She asked me; ‘Dad, how do I make friends?”
Embla went missing six months ago while her father was abroad.
She had secretly left Sweden and travelled to Italy to take a language course in the south of the country.
When the course finished at the end of the summer she boarded a train to the capital Rome but failed to return home to Stockholm.
Mr Jauhojarvi explained: ‘When I got home from South Africa I found Embla had vanished. She did not tell me she was going away. She did not leave a note. I didn’t know what had become of her.
‘After a couple of weeks I contacted the police and asked for help to find her. But they said she was over 18 was very little she could do.
‘I contacted everyone I could think of – her school, her university, banks, everyone. I discovered she had signed up to an Italian language course in the south of Italy.
Facing her family: Embla arrives at the Swedish Embassy on Wednesday afternoon for talks with her family. Her dreadlocks can be seen beneath a black hat she is wearing
Search: Mr Jauhojarvi never stopped looking for his daughter but he simply ran out of leads. The father of two was just desperate to see her again and never gave up hope
No contact: Her family say Embla removed every picture of herself from the family album had not been in contact since she left Sweden to study Italian in May. She was found by Italian police with no belongings and has reportedly been wearing the same long tan skirt, rain jacket, red scarf and black male trainers for weeks
Homeless: Embla, who lived with her father for eight years after her parents separated, has been staying around Piazza della Torretta in central Rome, pictured
Mystery: Her family said she suffers from Asperger’s and that she is vulnerable. Her case appeared on the Italian TV show Chi l’ha Visto (Who Has Seen) and got worldwide attention
‘I contacted the language school but they told me they had put her on a train to Rome and had not heard anything more from her.’
Mr Jauhojarvi, who saw the pictures of Embla living rough and contacted MailOnline, said he never stopped looking for his daughter but he simply ran out of leads.
He explained: ‘I contacted Interpol and the Swedish Embassy in Rome and asked for help to find my daughter but again they said because she is an adult there is very little they could do.
‘This is what I have heard for six months – excuses from the people who should be helping me to find my daughter.’
However Mr Jauhojarvi made a dramatic break-through on Wednesday when he was alerted to a story on MailOnline.
He explained: ‘I had a call from Embla’s cousin to say that he has seen her picture on the internet. I saw the picture and I knew it was Embla.
‘I could not sleep. I have been awake all night. I booked the first flight to Rome. I just want to find my daughter.’
Resemblance: Although some commentators have said that she looks similar to missing British girl Madeleine McCann, a spokesman from Rome’s military police told MailOnline Embla, whom they picked up last week, was too old to be Maddie and immediately ruled it out
Search: Kate and Gerry McCann have been desperately searching for their missing daughter Maddie since she disappeared on holiday with them in Praia da Luz, Portugal in 2007
Mr Jauhojarvi was met with further frustration when he learned Embla had returned to the streets following a night under the care of the Rome Social Services – her first proper night’s sleep in months.
But his optimism returned when Rome Police told him the blonde girl had been spotted and had again been taken into protective care.
Mr Jauhojarvi added: ‘I’ve had so many messages of support. People from Sweden, Finland, all over the world have told me they have seen Embla in Rome.
‘One person told me he had seen on the streets since the end of the summer. It is heart-breaking.
‘And I had some nasty messages as well. One person accused me of being a bad father. It is upsetting.’
Embla Jauhojarvi: Her shyness made it hard to make friends
Embla Jauhojarvi, the Swedish student at the centre of Rome’s homeless woman mystery, was a shy little girl who never came out of her shell, MailOnline has learned.
Always quiet and shy Embla played alone as a youngster and never learned the social skills that enabled her to make friends or play with other children, her father Tahvo has revealed.
‘Embla was always a shy little girl,’ Mr Jauhojarvi told MailOnline.
‘When she was young she used to play on her own, she did not play with other children. She seemed happy but she did not make friends.’
‘Embla could not cope with situations with people. She did not grow out of her shyness,’ her father told MailOnline
The youngest of two children Embla has always close to her brother Eppu.
‘Embla is the youngest, she is two years younger than her brother Eppu. They are very close. When they were little she used to order him around all the time, “no, do it like this”, she would tell him.
‘They went to the same schools when they were kids. At break time they used to come together to hug.
‘Eppu has been very upset by what has happened to his sister.’
Embla found the separation of her parents, when she was aged seven, particularly difficult. The later divorced and mother Ilona remarried.
She preferred to stay with her father.
He explained: ‘Embla likes routine. She used to say to me; “Daddy I want dinner at 5pm, not 4.30 or 5.30, 5pm.”’
‘So I would make sure dinner was on the table at 5pm.’
Unable to make friends and struggling with secondary school Embla’s parents took her to doctors to make sense of her unusual behaviour.
‘Embla could not cope with situations with people. She did not grow out of her shyness.
‘So we took her to the doctor and she was diagnosed with Asperger’s syndrome aged 13.
‘It was hard to hear this but Embla accepted the diagnosis well.
‘She read up all about Asperger’s. She discovered there were many famous and successful people who have Asperger’s.’
The diagnosis helped Embla come to terms with her difficulties interacting with people she does not know well.
The teenager was transferred to a specialist school that catered for children with Asperger’s where she was taught in small classes with only a handful of pupils.
‘All the kids in the class had Asperger’s,’ Mr Jauhojarvi told MailOnline.
‘But they did not talk to one another, they did not make friends, the classroom was totally silent.
‘They would stand outside the classroom in complete silence just looking ahead of themselves.
‘There was no chatting, no interaction, they were not interested in each other.’
As a bright student Embla excelled, gaining good grades. However she hated sports.
‘She hated anything in the gymnasium, the sports hall. She would say to me “why do I have to throw this ball into the hoop?”.
‘I explained it was basketball and all you had to do was to practice to be good at it.’
After school Embla would come straight home.
‘She likes to listen to music, watch films, black and white classics and generally be at home,’ her father explained.
Held back from graduation due to her condition Embla finally finished school in June 2015.
Last year she visited Rome for seven days – on her own – where she appears to have fallen in love with the city and the language.
Upon her return she threw herself into the language, learning Italian from books and tapes, and studying five or six hours a day.
A committed vegetarian Embla is passionate about animal welfare and is a member of Sweden’s Social Democratic Party, taking part in leaflet campaigns.