Waking dead: Inmate pronounced deceased at Spanish jail rouses before autopsy
A police van enters the Penitentiary Center of Asturias, Spain on Jan 1, 2011. EPA-EFE/FILE/J.L Cereijido
Oviedo, Spain, Jan 8 (efe-epa).- Spanish authorities would on Monday continue to investigate how an inmate who had been pronounced dead at a prison in northern Spain suddenly came back to life as he lay on an autopsy slab, leaving medical staff and forensic specialists puzzled.
The peculiar story unfolded on Sunday at the Penitentiary Center of Asturias, located some 472-kilometers (293-miles) north of Madrid, when prison staff discovered the apparently lifeless body of a middle-aged inmate in his cell during the daily register of prisoners at 8 am, sources close to the case told EFE.
Several doctors, including a forensic specialist, pronounced the convict dead at the scene and a judge gave permission for the body to be removed from the cell and taken to a morgue in the nearby city of Oviedo, where it was to undergo an autopsy.
It was there, in the late hours of the morning, that workers at the morgue noticed the ostensibly deceased man begin to snore and even move, suggesting that he had regained consciousness.
Once alerted to the prisoner's reanimation, authorities transferred him to the central university hospital of Asturias, where he remained under observation after recovering from what medical staff were treating as a possible fit of catalepsy _ a nervous disorder characterized by the stiffening of the body and slowed breathing.
Police officers would remain at the patient's hospital bed, while another official was given the task of phoning his family to inform them that their relative had not died after all, as they had previously been informed.