Family in shock as 'murdered' Brazilian man turns up at his own wake


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The Independent US

A family in the Brazilian town of Alagoinhas had the shock of their lives this week, when a relative they thought had been murdered turned up to his own wake.

Family members fainted, while others run off in shock, as 41-year-old car washer Gilberto Araujo approached the group gathered around a coffin containing what they thought was his body.

The mistake occurred after a fellow car washer, said to closely resemble Mr Araujo, was murdered at the weekend.

Mr Araujo’s brother Jose Marcos heard that a car washer had been killed and attended the mortuary, but wrongly identified the man as he hadn’t seen his brother in months.

Jose Marcos was then allowed to take the body to his mother's home in Alagoinhas.

Mr Araujo says he heard about the mistake when he was walking along the street and a friend approached him to say he was about to leave for his funeral.

“A friend told me there was a coffin and that I was inside it,” he said.

Mr Araujo then telephoned other friends who refused to talk to him because they thought it was a hoax, so he decided he had to attend the wake in person to prove he was still alive.

Mr Araujo’s mother told reporters she was overjoyed that her son had seemingly come back from the dead, adding: “What mother wouldn’t be, after being told her son is dead then seeing him alive?”

Local police described the confusion as “understandable” given the men had the same job and looked very similar. 

They went on to say that the dead man has now been identified as Genivaldo Silva Gama, and that they continue to seek information into his death.