Relatives of Ademir Jorge Goncalves, 59, had identified him as the badly disfigured victim of a Sunday night car crash in Parana state in southern Brazil.
As is customary in Brazil, the funeral was held the following day, which happened to be the holiday of Finados, when Brazilians visit cemeteries to honour the dead. What family members didn’t know was that Goncalves had spent the night at a truck stop talking with friends over drinks of a sugarcane liquor known as cachaca, his niece Rosa Sampaio told the O Globo newspaper. He did not get word about his own funeral until it was already happening on Monday.
A police spokesman in the town of Santo Antonio da Platina said Goncalves rushed to the funeral to let family members know he was not dead.
“The corpse was badly disfigured, but dressed in similar clothing,” said a police spokesman.