When police phoned up Jose Marcos Araujo and told him his brother had been shot to death, he figured that meant he would never see Gilberto alive again.
Imagine his surprise, then, when the 41-year-old car washer showed up to greet mourners at his own funeral.
According to police in northeastern Brazil, the whole thing is a simple, if rather soap opera-ish case of mistaken identity.
The murdered man’s name is actually Genivaldo Santos Gama, and he, like Gilberto, is also a car washer. In fact, the two look so much alike (mildly disturbing comparison photo here) that even Jose Marcos was fooled when asked to identify his body at the city morgue.
Apparently Gilberto is something of a vagabond, and his family in Alagoinhas hadn’t heard from him in the four months prior to his “death.”
Luckily, a friend of Gilberto happened to spot him walking around and informed him that funeral services are being held for him in his mother’s house. He rushed over and burst in causing some in attendance to faint and others to run out of the room screaming.
After the initial shock wore off, happiness and relief set in.
“I am overjoyed,” Gilberto’s mother, Marina Santana, told the local press. “What mother wouldn’t be after being told that her son is dead and then sees him alive.”