Dead Puerto Rican man propped up with eyes open at his funeral

A Puerto Rican man has been laid to rest "just as he was in life" in an extremely unusual funeral service, after being murdered outside his home on March 3.

Fernando de Jesus Diaz Beato, 26, was reportedly shot 15 times in the Villa Carolina neighbourhood of San Juan and police have yet to find a lead on the crime.

Remembered as a "happy and very active person", Diaz Beato's family felt it best to envision him as how he was before he died and chose to swap his coffin for a chair.

As shown in a video obtained by LiveLeak, Diaz Beato was propped up with his legs crossed, dressed in his favourite clothes and made to pose with a cigarette between his fingers.

'We decided to embalm him like this because he was a very happy person, very active and we want to remember him as he was," said Ihizz Diaz Beato, one of Diaz Beato's sisters to The Daily Mail.

To top it all off, the funeral home chose to surprise Diaz Beato's family by leaving his eyes open.

Another sister was quoted by The Daily Mail saying: "Everybody was really surprised because seeing him like that was like seeing him as if he were alive."

While unusual, this is not something new for the Marin Funeral Home. A pioneer of such services in San Juan, this is the ninth such funeral they have conducted.

"We have seen that the families wish to see the dead men just as they were when they were alive," said Damaris Marin, the owner of Marin Funeral Home as quoted by The Daily Mail.

However, this is the first time the funeral parlour decided to leave the eyes of the deceased open. And although the result shocked the family initially, they were ultimately impressed by how Diaz Beato looked at his funeral.

Police are still investigating Diaz Beato's death.

mldas@sph.com.sg