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Man, presumed dead, returns home a year after family cremated wrong body

34 Comments

A man in his 40s, who was reported missing last year, and later “found,” then confirmed dead by police and his family who had him cremated, has shocked his family by returning home alive and well.

According to police reports, the man in his 40s went missing from his home in Matsudo, Chiba Prefecture, last year. His family filed a missing persons report immediately after and police had been searching for his whereabouts.

On June 21, 2017, police found an unconscious man in the Edo River in Tokyo’s Katsushika Ward. His facial and body features matched those reported by the family of the missing man in his 40s. The man found in the river passed away shortly after he was taken to a hospital. There was no ID on him.

The family of the missing man, including his wife and two other relatives, were called by police to identify the body, which they did, confirming that “there’s no mistake” that this was him. The man’s status then went from "missing" to "dead" with drowning listed as the cause of death. His body was handed over to the family and subsequently cremated. That was the end of the story.

Until he came back to his family alive and well on June 6.

Following the man’s surprising return, his wife, who initially filed the missing persons report and who had personally identified the man as dead, called police to announce that her husband had returned.

In response, police launched an investigation, determining that the man found in the river was another missing person, a Tokyo resident in his 30s. His family had also filed a missing persons report shortly after the police had mistaken his body for the man in his 40s.

According to police, in cases when the family of a deceased person confirms the identity, further investigation, including DNA and fingerprint matching, is not usually conducted.

Police representatives have issued a statement following the incident, saying that they would like to use this case as a lesson to prevent similar incidents from occurring in the future.

© Japan Today

©2018 GPlusMedia Inc.

34 Comments
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The old body double switcheroo trick....I smell a Hitchcock plot here.

4 ( +7 / -3 )

How could they prove that the cremated guy is the one they think he is now? All they know is that he matches a similar description, but that has already proven incorrect once. And I'm pretty sure that cremation would destroy the DNA. But let's say it does prove to be that guy, will his family now have to recompense the first family for the cremation and funeral?

5 ( +5 / -0 )

What do you say in this situation, when presenting yourself to your family ? "Surprise" ?

7 ( +7 / -0 )

So I want to know what his reason for disappearing was!

5 ( +5 / -0 )

@Bintaro: I was thinking Tadaima or "I'm Back"

I can recall that bodies that were beyond recognition could still be identified by their dental records.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Can you imagine what would happen if they hadn't changed the locks and he just walked in and said "Tadaima!"? I would love to have seen their faces

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Nonsense - the man died, was correctly identified and cremated.  He just came back from the dead.  It has happened before, right?  :)

7 ( +7 / -0 )

Where the hell did he go?

2 ( +2 / -0 )

I did a Google search to confirm my suspicions, and apparently there is no way to test for DNA in cremated remains. But I'll bet say "yeah that's him", call it good, and close the books

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

"in cases when the family of a deceased person confirms the identity, further investigation, including DNA and fingerprint matching, is not usually conducted." Dental /fingerprint matching seems like a no-brainer. I can't believe that an advanced country would have no failsafe measures in place, particularly when virtually everyone is cremated and posthumous verification is impossible.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Ooooops! I wonder if his wife had moved on?

3 ( +3 / -0 )

How much you want to bet this guy disappears again?

Nan Ferra: "The old body double switcheroo trick"

Har!

2 ( +2 / -0 )

So... what was he up to for that year? Lived with his mistress? Crazy yakuza mission? Went to Brazil? Became a monk? Assumed someone else's identity and lived in another man's house?

2 ( +2 / -0 )

So, Expat, when a family member positively identifies a body in other countries, do they follow up with DNA, fingerprints and dental records? I think it’s pretty standard if a wife says, “That’s my husband,” the police generally accept that.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Stephen King novel "Return from the Grave"

1 ( +1 / -0 )

So, who is the dead guy? They seem more worried about covering up their mistake than finding out whose body they recovered.

"All Japanese look alike!" :-D

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Wonder if the Life Insurance needs paying back ?

4 ( +4 / -0 )

If so, his Wife may arrange for a quick knocking off, perhaps paying some old age Person to run him down "accidentally" by using the Accelerator instead of the break peddle....

0 ( +1 / -1 )

(pedal)

2 ( +2 / -0 )

... or brake pedal?

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Did the family of the declared dead get life insurance and other pensions and welfare?

2 ( +2 / -0 )

One must always be completely sure of who they marry and keep in contact with the spouse. Arranged marriages can come with some unpleasant side effects.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Wow, what a bungle.

What genre would this be if it was a movie?

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Was he a "fast" or "slow" zombie?

Guess he wasn't Yakuza - no tattoos.

Might be time to get a sub-skin ID injected that can be removed later, if your work is dangerous?

If he was willing to leave his wife for a year, what does that say about their life together? Why come back?

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Wow... that trip to the corner conbini to read the latest edition of Jump manga took a lot longer than I expected.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Well? Where are the cigarettes that you went to the market for?

Oops...Be right back.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

I wonder if this was an insurance job? so just to recap, this guy went some where missing for over a year, 1: was this a bad case on amnesia ? 2: fancy woman , ie moved in, the relationship went sour and she kicked him out? 3: insurance job? I would like to dig deeper on this guy because something is not adding up. if this was and insurance job, and she's been paid out ie life death policy, will she have to hand the money back?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I can recall that bodies that were beyond recognition could still be identified by their dental records.

And just who is holding the dental records HERE?

This is a case where the cops screwed up big time, they had family and relatives around and SHOULD have taken a DNA test. They were lazy! A body that has been in water for just about any amount of time is typically going to change the way the person looks, bloating, facial expressions, skin color changes, and others, so the cops had a duty to check and they didnt.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

This case should be used as an example that DNA, fingerprints and samples should be used in cases in Japan to solidify a conclusion. Its called HARD EVIDENCE! Now this family is out of a lot of money because they blindly paid for the funeral of a stranger. At least he was safe.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Reminds me of Van Winkle, RIP.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

To Bintaro: He was Japanese, so he had to have said "Supplies!"

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Yep, Very strange indeed. Would have liked to see the looks on their faces. Maybe at first thought. It was a ghost or the spirit returning from the grave. Very odd story.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Ouch! This is way wrong on so many levels!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Hey Honey I'm home... bet that one caused a shock.

So where did this man disappear off to ?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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