Friends and relatives of a Brazilian car washer they believed had been murdered over the weekend were shocked when he walked into his own wake at his mother’s home this week.
Gilberto Araújo had not been seen by his brother Jose Marcos Araújo for four months when Jose incorrectly identified his brother in the mortuary in Sao Paulo. Jose Araújo heard news that a car washer had been killed, and when he saw a man who closely resembled his brother when he went to identify the body, he said that the body was Gilberto.
The veiled body was then moved to their mother’s home in the town of Alagoinhas, approximately 60 miles from Salvador, and a wake was planned. Gilberto, 41, told O Globo that he learned of his family’s plans to have a viewing of “his” body when someone told him that his family was headed to his wake.
“A friend told me there was a coffin and that I was inside it,” he said. “So I said, ‘but I’m alive, pinch me.’”
Araújo said that when he called a friend who was attending the wake to tell him that he was alive, the friend assumed it was a hoax. At that point Araújo decided to head to his own wake.
When he walked in, chaos ensued.
“It was a shock. The girls fell, fainted. [We] had people running. The street filled with bikes, cars, everything, ” his mother Maria Menezes said. “It was a fright. I’m very happy because what mother has a son that they say is dead then turns up alive?”
The dead man has now been identified as Genivaldo Santos Gama. Investigators are now seeking further information.