Prisoner Thought to be Dead Suddenly Snores on Autopsy Table

Fagjun | Published 2018-01-18 09:06

A prisoner in Asturias, Spain has turned to be very much alive despite being declared dead by three different doctors.


29-year-old Gonzalo Montoya Jiménez must be having quite an interesting week. Usually, tales of dead bodies in the morgue turning out to be alive are the stuff of urban legends and horror stories, but this one is quite real. An inmate in Spain’s Asturias region, the man was reportedly examined by a total of three doctors, all of whom came to the exact same conclusion: that Jiménez had died.


However, the man on the autopsy table, whose body had already been marked in preparation for an autopsy, was actually still quite alive. He was believed to have been dead for four hours when he suddenly snored, revealing himself to be merely unconscious instead of deceased.


What, then, caused three separate doctors to be completely certain that this man was already dead and ready for an autopsy?

Waking Up

The man, who was an inmate, was declared dead at the prison.

The man, who was an inmate, was declared dead at the prison.


Jiménez was found collapsed in his cell and was subsequently declared dead by the prison’s doctors. He was then placed in a body bag and transferred to a hospital mortuary for further examination. Once he began snoring as he was being prepped for his own autopsy, however, the Forensic Anatomical Institute of Oviedo realized that the doctors at the prison made a mistake.


The man woke up about 24 hours later, and reportedly first asked for his wife. He was placed under observation at the Central University Hospital of Asturias (HUCA) in Oviedo. The man was apparently in good health, though there was a possibility that he may have suffered oxygen deprivation. If he did, however, it was not clear whether or not he would suffer long-term consequences. There were also fears that Jiménez may have brain damage, but he was able to speak and remember his wife, both of which are good signs.


It’s suspected that Jiménez may have had a case of catalepsy, which is characterized by rigidity in the body, lack of response to pain, and diminished bodily functions like breathing. Catalepsy may last for days, and may possibly be tied to conditions like epilepsy. Coincidentally, Jiménez’s family reported that he does actually have epilepsy, but also that he may not have been taking his medication while incarcerated.

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