Relatives of a pregnant Honduran teenager, who had been buried after being pronounced dead at a hospital, broke down her tomb and pulled out her coffin after apparently hearing banging from the inside.
Nelsy Perez (16) was then rushed to a clinic, still lying in her coffin and dressed in the wedding gown she was going to wear when she married the father of her unborn child, but doctors there found no signs of life.
Relatives say they observed signs of a struggle in the broken glass panel of the coffin over her face, and bruises on her fingers.
Videos of the traumatic events that took place in early July, near the western city of Copan, have now emerged in a report on Univision TV.
The videos show a crowd gathered around Nelsy’s tomb as a young man smashes its sealed concrete entrance with a mallet, allowing the girl’s white coffin to be pulled out.
They also picture her lying in the open coffin still in the cemetery as a woman fans her face. A later scene shows a crowd around her hospital bed reading the Bible, and periodically shaking her body.
It all began, the family said, when Nelsy, who was three months pregnant, became suddenly ill in a way that made them suspect she had been possessed, and sent them running to a pastor.
“The pastor asked her to repeat the word of God and she refused,” Nelsy’s boyfriend Rody Gonzales told Univision. “Another voice was coming out of her.”
When her condition worsened, the family took her to a hospital. She was pronounced dead a few hours later.
Earlier Honduran media reports said Nelsy was initially taken ill after hearing gun shots outside her poverty-stricken home, and that the cause of death had been recorded as a heart attack.
Soon after she was buried, Gonzales visited the tomb and thought he heard banging from within. He said he thought it might be his nerves playing tricks until a cemetery worker also heard the strange noises.
The family became even more convinced Nelsy had been buried alive once they had recovered the coffin.
“She didn’t smell bad or anything,” said Gladys Gutierrez, the girl’s aunt. “Her body seemed normal, and her colour seemed normal too.”
Claudia Lopez, the doctor who attended the family at the clinic, said Ms Perez was dead when she was tested. “They almost broke down the door to get in,” she said. “We evaluated her fully but there was no result.”
The case has sparked much speculation over what could have happened. Some have suggested catalepsy, a nervous condition that causes muscular rigidity, insensitivity to external stimuli and weak respiration.
Others speculate the damage to the inside of the coffin could be explained by body decomposition. “The coffin glass could have been broken by the gasses of the decomposing body,” said a police investigator, Blanca Mejia, citing the first impressions of the doctor carrying out the autopsy.
Culled from Irishtimes.com