The family of Sharolyn Jackson was sure they had buried their loved one earlier this month. At the viewing, people thought her nose looked a little "thinner" than usual, but beyond that, everyone agreed they were burying the 50-year-old mother. Except that Jackson was found two weeks later, very much alive, in a Philadelphia hospital.
So who did the family bury? And why couldn't they recognize their own kin?
"There was really a strong resemblance, a really strong resemblance," Carrie Minney, mother of Sharolyn Jackson, told the New York Post. "She looks so much like Sharol they could be sisters."
Jackson had gone missing earlier this year. When an unidentified woman died in a Philadelphia hospital on July 20th, authorities matched the body to Jackson's missing-person's report. Jackson had been dealing with drug and mental health problems, and her family had been trying to find her. Her son saw the pictures of the body, and positively identified the body as Jackson.
"If someone comes in and they're a family member and say, 'That's my mom,' that's generally good enough," Philadelphia Department of Health spokesman James Garrow said.
But when Jackson arrived at a Philadelphia hospital last week, her fingerprints identified her as someone the hospital, and her family, thought was dead.
"I'm still overjoyed," her mother said. "I got to come down from the joy because somebody else is dead. We don't know who it is, and it bothers me that somebody else's daughter is laying in that grave out there."
Authorities have exhumed the now-unidentified body and are working to figure out who was, for a few weeks, the late Sharolyn Jackson.