A man from Quintana Roo exhumed his mother’s body and took it through the town on a cargo tricycle on Thursday night.
Wilbert Puch Hau, 47, transported his mother through the Maya community of Noh-Bec, believing that she was still alive, authorities said. Hermelinda Hau Mis had recently died at 70 and was buried in the community cemetery, some 290 kilometers south of Cancún.
The mayor of Noh-Bec, Aurelio Aguilar Hernández, reported at 10:40 p.m. on Thursday that someone had entered the town’s pantheon, desecrated a tomb and taken out a body.
Witnesses said that Puch Hau claimed to have had “a revelation” that his mother was sleeping, which inspired him to extract the recently buried body.
Puch Hau’s father, widower Longimo Puch Chuc, 81, confirmed that his son had had a dream that his mother was still alive. Relatives spoke to Puch Hau to persuade him that he was mistaken, and told him that he couldn’t keep the body.
The body was returned to its coffin and reburied at 1:20 a.m. on Friday. The tomb was closed by relatives.
Longimo did not file any complaint against his son for the theft of the body. However, a public attorney for indigenous issues, Eustaquio Pech Ku, said that the state Attorney General’s Office had received a complaint from police.
The act could be investigated “as a crime against respect for the dead and against the rules of burial covered in the criminal code of the state,” Pech Ku added.
It is unclear if Puch Hau has been arrested.