Shock as Brazilian man turns up at own wake
- 24 October 2012
- From the section Latin America & Caribbean
A Brazilian man gave his relatives the shock of their lives when he turned up at his own wake at his mother's home.
The family was gathered around a coffin thought to contain 41-year-old car washer Gilberto Araujo when he appeared, causing some people to faint and others to flee in fear.
The dead man, said to closely resemble Gilberto, is believed to be another car washer who was murdered at the weekend.
Gilberto's brother said he had wrongly identified him in the mortuary.
Jose Marcos Araujo said he had not seen his brother in four months.
He had heard news that a car washer had been killed, and when he saw a body in the mortuary which looked very much like his brother, he assumed it was Gilberto.
The family took the body to his mother's home in the town of Alagoinhas.
Gilberto Araujo said he heard about the mistake when an acquaintance approached him in the street to say his family was about to set off for his funeral.
"A friend told me there was a coffin and that I was inside it," he said.
"So I said: 'But I'm alive, pinch me!'"
Mr Araujo said he tried to call another friend who was at the wake but the friend thought it was a hoax and hung up, so he decided to go in person.
His mother told reporters she was overjoyed when her son showed up alive. "What mother wouldn't be, after being told that her son is dead and then sees him alive?" she told reporters.
Police inspector Roberto Lima said the confusion surrounding Mr Araujo's presumed death was "understandable".
"The two men closely resembled each other and both worked as car washers," he said.
Police say the dead man has now been identified as Genivaldo Santos Gama but they are now seeking further information.