‘Dead’ man interrupts his OWN funeral to reveal he’s still alive
They had gathered to mourn the untimely death of the popular car washer, who was believed to have been murdered while working on the streets. But the body they were weeping over was in fact that of another car washer who relatives say looked uncannily like 41-year-old Gilberto.
Two hours before he was due to be buried on Monday morning, the real Gilberto suddenly appeared among the mourners and shouted: “I’m alive, pinch me”.
Maria Menezes told Brazil’s Globo G1 website: “It was a huge shock for everyone.
“Most of the women fainted, others fell to their knees in disbelief. People were screaming and running everywhere.”
The confusion began after police in the town telephoned Gilberto’s mother Marina Santana with the news her son had been shot dead on Saturday night.
The man’s body was released after both Gilberto’s brother and sister went to the town’s morgue and positively identified him as their brother.
Brother Jose Santos said: “We called the undertakers and arranged everything. He works on the street and doesn’t come home every night. Everyone believed it was him in that coffin. We were all devastated at losing him.”
Gilberto said he had learned about his “death” from a neighbour who had met him on the street and told him family and friends were holding a wake for him.
He said he had called home to let them know them he was still alive but a relative who answered thought it was a sick joke and put the phone down.
He said: “I decided to go there and tell them in person. I couldn’t believe it when I saw myself in that coffin, and all those people crying over me.
“Then there was mayhem. People were fainting all over the place, screaming and running out onto the street.”
Gilberto’s mother Marina Santana said: “I was shocked at first, but then I was overjoyed of course. What mother wouldn’t be after being told their son is dead then find out he’s really alive?”
Police chief Glauco Suzart said the body of the dead man, named as Genivaldo Santos Gama, has been returned to the morgue.
He said: “It was an easy mistake to make, the two men were both car washers and they look surprisingly alike. Now we have to start again from square one.”