PHILADELPHIA (CBSNewYork) — A body was set to be exhumed in New Jersey after a horrible mistake.
As CBS 2’s Cindy Hsu reported, a woman showed up very much alive nearly two weeks after her family members thought they had buried her in Trenton. The case has caused confusion, embarrassment, and outrage.
“I had to call my wife and give her the sad news over the phone that they had just found my daughter dead,” Dave Minnie, the father of Sharolyn Jackson, 50, told KYW-TV, Philadelphia reporter Walt Hunter.
Both Jackson’s own son, Travis, and a social worker said Jackson was dead based on a photo provided to them by the Philadelphia Medical Examiner’s office.
“It looked like Shirl so, so he said that was her,” Minnie said.
But a week ago Friday – 13 days after the burial – Jackson showed up at a mental health facility in Philadelphia. Meanwhile, the identity of the dead woman is a total mystery.
“This is just a horrible situation,” said Philadelphia police Lt. John Walker, “but we’re trying to do our best to bring this body out to try to get the family some closure on this particular person.”
The person, now listed as Jane Doe, was found July 20 at 59th and Spruce streets in West Philadelphia, two days after Jackson was reported missing from her home.
“We were happy that our daughter was alive, but we were also unhappy on account of the person that we buried,” Mini said.
And police said identifying the woman could be a challenge.
“She’s not carrying any identification,” Walker said. “Obviously, people in the neighborhood did not recognize her.”
Fliers have gone up in the area, asking for help in identifying the dead woman. She was wearing black Nike shoes and a peach-colored blouse.
Jackson’s family has mixed feelings about the mixup.
“She’s alive. We’re happy about that — happy for her and sad for the mother that’s missing her daughter,” Mini said.
The Philadelphia Medical Examiner’s office said proper procedure was followed. Jackson remained at the mental health facility this weekend.
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