Spanish prisoner declared dead wakes up in mortuary

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"The pills are taken as they (the prisoners) want", said Luis Manuel Montoya, his uncle, according to local paper La Voz de Asturias. He was so damn unresponsive that he was labeled as medically dead...by three separate doctors.

Jimenez's supposed corpse was transferred in a body bag to the Institute of Forensic Anatomical Institute of Oviedo, for an autopsy to be conducted. The prisoner allegedly complained of feeling ill the day before.

After regaining conscious 24 hours later, the first thing he did was ask about his wife, according to the newspaper. But not so fast, because just when the doctors were about to begin an autopsy they heard noise coming from the 29-year-old man's bag. The body was then reportedly examined by three doctors before being sent to the mortuary, BBC Newsreported.

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So why was he mistaken for dead? He may have suffered from catalepsy, a medical condition where the patient has diminished responsiveness and can remain in the same position for days or longer.

Shortly before the autopsy, workers at the morgue heard what sounded like snoring from inside Mr Montoya's body bag.

The prisoner's family is now reported to be simultaneously delighted at the miraculous turn of events, and angry with the prison officials - who they believe could not have performed thorough checks to ascertain whether or not Jiménez was really dead. Catalepsy symptoms include rigidity, unresponsiveness, and loss of muscle control, as well as slowing of vital bodily functions (such as breathing).

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A spokesman for the Spanish Prison Service confirmed the man's family had been informed he had "passed away" as part of standard procedure which kicks in when a prisoner has been declared dead.

It was not immediately clear on Monday morning why the inmate was in prison or what length of sentence he was serving.

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