A man thought to have died in a motorbike accident in Tuban, East Java, walked home on Monday - seven hours after his apparent funeral.
"The incident is true; there was a mistake," Grabagan Police chief Adj. Comr. Ali Kantha said as quoted by kompas.com.
Forty-year old Sunarto, a resident of Gesikan village on Grabagan district, was declared dead after a lethal motorbike accident in Brondong district, Lamongan, East Java, on Monday.
A motorbike rider was killed in an accident and did not carry any ID.
The rider was reportedly so badly injured that his body was unrecognizable. As the motorbike was registered as Sunarto's, the rider was identified as him.
Brondong Police in Lamongan immediately contacted Grabagan Police in Tuban to inform Sunarto's family in Grabagan about the accident.
The authorities sent the body to Sunarto's family at 12 p.m., and the family then conducted the funeral.
"Even when the family washed the body, they could not tell that the body was not Sunarto's [due to the severe injuries]," Ali said.
The body was then buried and the ceremony completed at 3 p.m.
Seven hours later, Sunarto, to the surprise of his family, came home.
Sunarto said the person buried was not him but a man named Wariim, a resident of Jarum village in Semanding district. He said he had heard about the announcement of his death from his friends at work.
"Sunarto said he was in debt to the deceased. As a security, he had handed over his motorbike. That was three months ago," Ali said.
"Then the accident happened on Monday, and because the victim was severely injured, it was very hard to recognise him. Meanwhile, the victim did not carry any ID. Therefore, the Police contacted the family [of the person] the motorbike was registered under and told them that the [owner] had died," Ali said.
Both Sunarto and Wariim worked in Brondong district in Lamongan. Sunarto is a construction worker while Wariim was a pedicab driver.
Police said the miscommunication had been solved by the two families. Wariim's family said they would not move Wariim's resting place.
"The family did not make a fuss about this burial mistake; they just demanded that the headstone be replaced with one bearing the victim's name," Ali said.