Wife Returns After Having Fine Funeral

In February of 1904, a man named Ignacio Valente had an argument with his wife, Angelico, over the way she had cooked the macaroni for dinner. As a result of their quarrel, Angelico had left their home, declaring to Ignacio that she would rather die than return to him. Once the husband’s anger had subsided, he became worried for his wife and he started a search for her. Ignacio went to the police, reporting her as missing, and gave a careful description of her features.

After about 6 weeks, in March of 1904, Ignacio was notified that a woman’s body had been found, matching his wife’s description. The man went to the morgue, accompanied by his two-year-old daughter. He first identified the clothing of the woman did belong to his wife, but when shown the body, he said declared it had been changed.

The morgue keeper replied that they all change after death. When Ingancio also stated that the dead woman was better looking than his wife, the man replied that “Death beautifies them all.” Putting his doubts aside, Ignacio had the body brought to his home and in honoring his late wife’s wishes, had her body dressed in her original wedding dress. The funeral was held and notice of the event was even published in the local papers. The article was even read by Angelico herself.

When Ignacio returned home, he shockingly found his formerly deceased wife rummaging about for her wedding dress. She demanded to know what had become of the dress and her husband replied with surprise that he had buried her in it only three days prior. He realized that it was his real wife standing before him and that they had buried the wrong woman. Ignacio could only restore peace by promising to buy his wife another wedding dress just like the one she had before. He went on to demand that the city pay him $100 for the funeral expenses, $40 in lost wages from grief suffered and from illness experience following shock of finding wife still alive, and $100 for the bridal dress which was lost on the wrongly buried corpse. He asserted that he never would have accepted the body of the strange woman unless the morgue keeper had not forced him to believe it was his own wife.

The auditing bureau of the city’s Finance Department was reviewing the bill to determine whether or not it should be paid.