It was a case of mistaken die-dentity.
A 36-year-old man in India dropped jaws after turning up alive and well eight months after he was declared dead and then seemingly cremated.
The macabre caper began June 7 after Meppayur’s Deepak Balakrishnan Kandi disappeared, prompting the local police station to file a missing persons report, the Times Of India reported.
An apparent breakthrough came on July 17, when police recovered a body from a beach in Kerala, which they identified as belonging to Kandi.
The missing man’s family performed the funeral ceremony and cremated the body, seemingly providing closure to the saga.
It wasn’t until days later that Kerala police realized that the corpse was not Kandi’s: The body actually belonged to one Irshad, another missing person who bore an uncanny resemblance to the former MIA man.
A subsequent DNA test confirmed their wrong persons’ theory, prompting police to launch a manhunt for Kandi, while a local crime branch took over the investigation.
After months of searching in vain, Margao Town police finally hit paydirt on Tuesday while surveilling hotels. A random search of accommodations on old station road led to the discovery of an Aadhar number — a means of identification voluntarily obtained by Indian citizens and foreign residents — which gave away Kandi’s identity.
The vanishing man was subsequently apprehended and transferred into Kerala police custody.
Apparently, Kandi had been quite busy during his “death.” Kandi told police that he’d traveled everywhere, including Jaipur, Delhi and Punjab. He then did some odd jobs in Bogmalo, Goa, before shifting his base of operations to a hotel in Margao, where he was apprehended.
On Wednesday, reporters later informed Kandi of “his cremation” while he was in custody in Margao. The man simply grinned and said he wasn’t aware of his funeral before getting whisked away by Kerala police.
In a similar mixup in 2020, a man peered into his late mom’s casket at a North Carolina funeral home to discover a total stranger wearing her clothing and jewelry. His mother, meanwhile, had been interred mistakenly in the grave of his mom’s inadvertent body double.
This article was originally posted by The New York Post.