(AP) – Carrie Minney could have sworn the woman in the casket was her 50-year-old daughter.
When Minney and the rest of Sharolyn Jackson’s family attended her viewing, funeral and burial in New Jersey on Aug. 3, they noted that Jackson’s nose looked thinner. But they figured something had happened to it during the embalming process.
The truth is far stranger: The woman they buried that day was not, in fact, their loved one but a lookalike. Jackson showed up at a Philadelphia hospital on Aug. 16, several weeks after she had been reported missing and 13 days after her family thought they had laid her to rest at Colonial Memorial Park in Hamilton, N.J.
“There was really a strong resemblance, a really strong resemblance,” Minney, 69, said Friday in a phone interview from her home in Trenton, N.J. “She looks so much like Sharol they could be sisters.”
Jackson was reported missing around the time that paramedics took a woman who’d been found lying in a Philadelphia street to a hospital, where she died July 20. One of Jackson’s sons and a social worker at Horizon House, where her mother said she had been receiving treatment for drug and mental health problems, viewed pictures of the dead woman’s body and made the identification.
The medical examiner determined the woman died of heat stroke, signed a death certificate and released the body to the family, Philadelphia Department of Health spokesman James Garrow said.
“If someone comes in and they’re a family member and say, `That’s my mom,’ that’s generally good enough,” Garrow said.
After Jackson showed up at Pennsylvania Hospital last week, police confirmed her identity through fingerprints. Her son went to the hospital and immediately recognized her.
“He said, `That’s my mom. We made a terrible mistake,'” Garrow said.
Philadelphia officials plan to exhume the buried body in hopes of correctly identifying it.
Minney said her daughter remains hospitalized. They’ve spoken only briefly over the phone, and Minney isn’t sure her daughter knows a funeral was held for her.
“I’m still overjoyed,” Minney said. “I got to come down from the joy because somebody else is dead. We don’t know who it is, and it bothers me that somebody else’s daughter is laying in that grave out there.”
Philadelphia’s KYW-TV first reported on the funeral.
(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)
- The 5 worst things you could do for your roof
- 6 coolest things brewing in Arizona
- The virus that keeps head and neck cancers on the rise
- State Fair ‘Kid Reporter’ has all the angles covered
- 4 important things to know about timeshare maintenance fees
- Signs of delayed car crash injuries
- The truth about sports concussions
- The Alzheimer's epidemic: Facts you need to know
- The season is here, keep your Fantasy Football team strong all season
- 8 TV shows you can't miss this fall
- Football is here: 6 tips to make this your best season ever
- Gameday recipes and beers to match
- 6 reasons the Cardinals are driven to win the Super Bowl
- The Pac-12 football season nears kickoff
- Tips to get ready for a pain-free golf season
- Protect your family with these 7 home security features
- How to train like an Olympic swimmer
- 2016 Olympics: A guide to must-see TV events
- The bride's guide to feeling your best on your wedding day
- Deciding when you need knee surgery
- Celebrating Fourth of July is much cooler in these AZ towns
- Top ten road trip bathrooms in America
- Six things causing a pain in your neck
- 5 things to make your summer move easier
- Three elements of a strong timeshare exit guarantee
- Stretches and exercises for carpal tunnel syndrome
- The best Major League ballparks have their own personality
- Comparing the best regular seasons: The '96 Bulls and '16 Warriors
- 3 Arizona road trips and the vehicles to get you there
- Colon cancer is preventable. Check these signs and symptoms to stay healthy.