Man Turns Up Alive 11 Months After Wife Identifies Corpse

Police in Japan gave family wrong body
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 14, 2018 7:58 AM CDT
Updated Jun 17, 2018 6:34 AM CDT
Man Turns Up Alive 11 Months After Wife Identifies Corpse
The Edo river in Chiba prefecture.   (YagiriNoWatashi/WikiMedia Commons)

One body apparently looks much like another after a few days in Tokyo's Edo River. In June 2017, a Japanese woman who reported her husband missing identified a body found in the river as her loved one. She had the body cremated—and was shocked 11 months later when her husband turned up alive and well, USA Today reports. Two other relatives also identified the body pulled from the river as the missing husband, who was in his 40s and had been reported missing three days earlier. Police say that after the mistake was discovered, they were able to use fingerprint records to establish the true identity of the body.

Authorities say the body retrieved was that of a man in his 30s who was around the same height as the husband and who'd been reported missing on the day the body was pulled from the river. "The incident is extremely regrettable. We're determined to prevent a recurrence," a senior Tokyo police officer says. Police say that under the current system, fingerprint and DNA verification isn't required when relatives identify a body that hasn't been linked to a crime, the Asahi Shimbun reports. They didn't disclose where the woman's husband had been during the 11 months that everybody thought he was dead. (This elderly Japanese crime boss was a fugitive for 15 years—and then Facebook gave him up.)

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