Woman, declared dead, found alive inside body bag at funeral home
A 20-year-old woman, who had already been declared dead, was found alive at a funeral home in Michigan, United States, as she was about to get embalmed just hours later.
Timesha Beauchamp’s family called on authorities when they found her unresponsive in their home last Sunday morning, Aug. 23, as per ABC-affiliate WXYZ yesterday, Aug. 24.
The chief of the Southfield Fire Department said the young woman was not breathing when they arrived. After around 30 minutes of CPR and other standard efforts to revive Beauchamp, paramedics determined that she was dead.
The fire chief also said in a statement that because there was no evidence of foul play, they called the Oakland County Medical Examiner’s Office and provided the medical data, following standard operating procedures.
Based on what they told the doctor over the phone, Beauchamp was again declared to be deceased.
“The patient was again determined to have expired and the body was released directly to the family to make arrangements with a funeral home of their choosing,” the statement read as quoted by the television station.
Beauchamp was then taken to the James H. Cole funeral home, where staff discovered that the young woman was still alive as they reportedly saw her eyes open after unzipping the body bag.
“They were about to embalm her which is most frightening had she not had her eyes open. They would have begun draining her blood to be very, very frank about it,” lawyer Geoffrey Fieger told the news outlet.
“Had this not happened, no one would have known – had the funeral director gone about his business, drained her blood and embalmed her – no one would have known that Timesha was sent to the funeral home alive. Alive!” the lawyer stressed.
The 20-year-old has since been taken to the hospital and is in critical condition, as of yesterday. The family hired Feiger to find out how much of the delay to get Beauchamp proper medical care cost her health, the report said.
Earlier today, Aug. 25, the fire department issued another statement to clarify that a local emergency department physician “pronounced the patient deceased based upon medical information provided by the Southfield Fire Department at the scene.”
“After which, the Southfield Police Department contacted the Oakland County Medical Examiner’s Office to notify them of the findings and the on-duty forensic pathologist released the body to the family,” it further stated.
The fire department also stressed that both the fire and police departments “followed all appropriate city, county and state protocols and procedures in this case.”
The Southfield Fire Department is issuing the following clarification regarding the 20-year-old woman who was declared…
The city government of Southfield is currently conducting “thorough internal investigation in addition to the Oakland County Medical Control Authority, which will report findings to the State of Michigan Bureau of EMS, Trauma and Preparedness.”
The fire department also noted that they will be providing more information as it is available, to be as transparent as possible. Ian Biong/JB
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.