Here today, cremated yesterday
Friday 08 January 1993
'It has been 38 years since I began working as a policeman, and it is the first time I have come across such a mistake,' said the officer, who did not want his name mentioned.
The mix-up began early in the morning of 17 December when the body of a man was found in a sports park in Hino. He had frozen to death. Neighbours told the police he resembled a 45-year-old local man, whose older brother lived nearby. The police went to the man's house, and discovered that the younger brother had indeed been missing for three days. The devastated older brother was brought to the mortuary, and duly identified the corpse.
Not suspecting anything, the police handed over the body to his older brother, who in the normal Japanese way held a cremation the next day. That was Friday. On Saturday, the younger brother returned home, was shocked to hear of his premature death, and the two brothers shamefacedly returned to the police station.
There is a Japanese saying that somewhere in the world there are three people who resemble you exactly. 'The dead man was clearly one of the three who looked like the brother,' said the policeman. 'His face, height and physique were just the same.'
The question now, of course, is who the cremated man really was. Other people with missing relatives have been calling the police station, but with just a pile of ashes to go on, and no fingerprints or dental records, the officer said it 'might take some time' before they establish his identity.
- 1 Forget 'The Dress': Here are five of the biggest news stories you might have missed
- 2 The black and blue dress: Makers considering a white and gold version
- 3 PornHub turns masturbation into energy in bid to save the planet
- 5 MH370: 'Putin ordered plane to be flown to Kazakhstan space port,' conspiracy theory claims
Boris Nemtsov shot dead: Outspoken Putin critic who had expressed fears for his life is killed near the Kremlin
PornHub turns masturbation into energy in bid to save the planet
Ukraine crisis: Top Chinese diplomat backs Putin, says West should 'abandon zero-sum mentality'
White and gold or blue and black – what colour is the dress? An eyewitness gives a definitive answer
Saudi Muslim cleric claims the Earth is 'stationary' and the sun rotates around it
New theory could prove how life began and disprove God
Half of Ukip voters say they are prejudiced against people of other races
This is what it's like to be dead, according to a guy who died for a bit
'Cash for access' scandal: Sir Malcolm Rifkind says 'unrealistic' for MPs to live on £67,000 salary
'Jihadi John': CAGE representative storms off Sky News accusing Kay Burley of Islamophobia
Aqsa Mahmood branded a 'disgrace' by her parents after claims she recruited three UK girls flying to Middle East
£18000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company specialises provid...
Excellent Salary: Austen Lloyd: EXETER - A great new opportunity with real pot...
Excellent Salary: Austen Lloyd: EXETER - An outstanding senior opportunity for...
salary equal to £40K pro-rata: Sauce Recruitment: Are you available to start a...