According to the BBC
, Gilberto Araujo's family had gathered around a coffin they thought contained his dead body when he suddenly appeared, causing panic and fear.
It turned out that the family of the homeless 41-year-old car washer had confused his identity with that of another car washer who was murdered at the weekend. BBC
reports that Araujo's brother, Jose Marcos Santana Santos, said he was wrongly identified at the mortuary.
According to Brazil Dispatch
, Jose Marcos said the family last saw Araujo at a family party about four months ago. He said: “He only appears from time to time. We go a long time without seeing him. He lives here in Alagoinhas, but every day in a different place."
When the family heard the news that a car washer had been killed, they went to the mortuary. At the mortuary, they saw a dead body that looked like Araujo's and claimed it.
According to Reuters
, family and friends took the body to his mother's home in Alagoinhas, Bahia state. They were gathered around the body when he suddenly showed up.
The supposedly dead man said he learned that his family was at his wake from an acquaintance he met on the street. According to Araujo, "A friend told me there was a coffin and that I was inside it." Gilberto said he answered the friend: "But I'm alive, pinch me!"
Araujo said he called a friend who was at the wake but the friend thought it was a prankster and hung up. He decided to go to the wake in person.
After the initial fear and panic, Araujo's family eventually realized he had not died. According to Reuters
, the Brazilian website Globo
, reports that Araujo's mother, Maria Menezes, a shopkeeper, told reporters she was happy to see her son alive.
reports she told TV Subae: "It was a shock. Girls fainted. People were running around. The street filled with bikes, cars, everything... [but] I'm very happy because what mother wouldn't be, after being told that her son is dead and then sees him alive?"
Police Inspector Roberto Lima said the confusion about Araujo's death was "understandable" because, "The two men closely resembled each other and both worked as car washers."
The dead man has been identified as Genivaldo Silva Gama.