Aigali Supygaliev, from Kazakhstan, was pronounced dead after DNA tests on badly burned human remains proved with “with 99.2% certainty” that they were his.
Authorities issued an official death certificate and he was “buried” in September in the Muslim cemetery of Tomarly, his family’s home town just north of the Caspian Sea port of Atyrau.
His brother Esengali Supygaliev, told the Azh.kz news site: “We held a wake, and the extended family organised a traditional ‘konil shai’ ceremony,” where friends can share tea and sympathy with the bereaved.
“When Uncle Aigali walked through the door hale and hearty two months after we’d buried him, my daughter Saule nearly dropped dead of a heart attack,” Esengali added.
Aigali, 63, had left home one June morning and didn’t come back. “Aigali had been known to wander off for a week of two before,” his sibling said.
So, when Aigali walked through the door two months later, he had some explaining to do.
It turns out that he had taken up an offer of work in a nearby village from a man he’d met down the market that fateful day.
Once the work was finished, four months later Aigali walked all the way back to Tomarly.
Neither the police nor the regional justice department were available for comment on the story.
The forensic scientist who carried out the DNA analysis told Azh.kz that she stood by her 99.2% findings,
“but you must never forget that other 0.8%”.
The Supygalievs, who had paid for a tombstone, commissioned a stone shrine over the grave in the Kazakh tradition and even returned pension payments for the two months that Aigali was “dead”, are considering legal action.
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