A woman believed to be dead was said to have jerked and cried out for help from her tomb a day after she was buried. Before her death, 16-year-old Neysi Perez, was said to have woken up from her sleep to use the toilet in their home in western Honduras. She reportedly became unconscious and fell to the ground, foaming from the mouth. Three hours later, Perez was certified dead in a hospital.
A day after the burial, her husband, Rudy Gonzales, visited her tomb and claimed to have heard her cry for help. Gonzales called to relatives, who quickly smashed the tomb and the wooden coffin she was buried in. Perez was brought out, but remained lifeless after efforts to revive her yielded no positive result. Bruises and a blood stain on her finger tip made relatives believe she must have actually woken up and struggled to get out of the coffin.
Gonzales recounted the incident to a Honduran local TV news, Primer Impacto: “As I put my hand on her grave I could hear noises inside. I heard banging, then I heard her voice. She was screaming for help”.
It was not only Gonzales who believed the presumably dead woman woke up, Perez’s cousin, Carolina Perez, too, did.
“Once we had taken her out of the tomb I put my hand on her body. She was still warm, and I felt a faint heart beat”, she said.
“She had scratches on her forehead and bruises on her fingers. It looked like she had tried desperately to get out of the casket and hurt herself.”
The deceased’s mother, Maria Gutierrez, believes her daughter was buried alive and blames medics for being too quick to sign her death certificate.
“Even after a day in the tomb the colour of her body was normal, her corpse didn’t smell, she just looked like she was in a deep sleep. There was no rigamortis, her body was still flexible, it was impossible that she had been dead for so many hours,” the mother said.
A hypothesis says she might have suffered a cataplexy attack, an abrupt temporary loss of voluntary muscle function typically triggered by a strong emotional stimulus such as stress or fear, during which the victim maintains full conscious awareness.
She may then have died from lack of oxygen after waking up inside the closed coffin.