Saved by a snore': 'Dead' man rescued in morgue as autopsy begins

Sarabjit Singh

Sarabjit Singh

A prisoner in Spain who was certified "dead" by three doctors was suddenly heard snoring in his body bag just hours before he was scheduled to be cut open for his post-mortem examination Sunday.

It was hours after being declared dead by three different doctors.

Jiménez was taken to an Asturias hospital and is in a stable condition.

An official investigation has been launched to find out how the man's vitals were not discovered or if any medical steps were not carried out correctly.

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He was taken to the Institute of Legal Medicine in Oviedo for an autopsy.

Montoya's family members told La Voz de Asturias, cited by the BBC, that they saw markings on his body in preparation for the autopsy when they viewed his body.

Authorities told Mr Jiménez's family that the 29-year-old was believed to have died in his cell at around 8am after he failed to show for the prison's morning count.

"The second call that came in asking for police assistance in taking him to hospital and keeping watch over him while he was there for obvious security reasons obviously came as a bit of a surprise", a police source said. Doctors said his brain was deprived of oxygen for a while, but he is able to speak and remember things, which are both good signs.

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Experts suspect an catalepsy "may be related to this unusual case".

La Voz de Asturias also reported that Montoya Jiménez was prescribed medication to control epilepsy symptoms, suggesting he may have suffered from the condition. Despite signs to revive him, he was declared dead.

"It's still not clear at the moment exactly why this occurred", said the prison department spokesman.

Doctors now believe Montoya may suffer from a condition called catalepsy, which causes a person's vital signs to slow down to nearly imperceptible levels.

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