Gonzalo Montoya Jimenez is a 29-year-old Spanish inmate who was recently pronounced ‘dead’ but woke up later snoring in a body bag in a hospital mortuary. Gonzalo was incarcerated for robbery in a maximum security wing at the Asturias Central Penitentiary in northwest Spain.
It was in the morning during roll call when Gonzalo was found unconscious on his chair inside of his cell.
It has been reported that three separate doctors checked in on the inmate’s status and all three certified him as dead.
When prison authorities found him unresponsive in his cell they sent him to two doctors who said he had no signs of violence or cause of death and seeing no vital signs they sent him off to a forensic doctor.
The forensic doctor confirmed the two doctors’ findings and an hour later a third death report was issued for Gonzalo.
He was later sent to a morgue where the physicians and morticians there heard him snoring inside of the body bag.
A Spanish publication called El Espanol reported on his death: ‘forensic doctors began to hear noises coming from inside the bag. Montoya was not dead. Quite the opposite. The forensic [pathologist] proceeded to open the bag and found the inmate still alive.’
When he finally awoke, Rodrigo had already spent time in the cold storage room (in order to preserve his body) and there were marks on his body for the scalpel to cut into.
He is currently reported to be in stable condition after he was transferred under guard to a hospital. It was reported that he recovered consciousness in intensive care after 24 hours and then began to speak.
A spokesperson for the Spanish Prison Service said: ‘I can’t comment on what happened at the Institute of Legal Medicine, but three doctors have seen clinical signs of death so it’s still not clear at the moment exactly why this occurred.’
The day before he ‘died’ Rodrigo complained of feeling sick and officials there described a ‘purplish’ color to his body which is marked by cyanosis which is poor circulation or a lack of oxygen.
Although the cause is still unclear, hospital officials say the ‘death’ could have been catalepsy which is when the body enters a trance or seizure-like state and is marked by a loss or slowing down of sensations (such as breathing) and consciousness.
Catalepsy is also marked with the rigidity of the body which could be why doctors assumed Rodrigo was dead.
It has been reported that the first thing Rodrigo asked for when he woke up was to see his wife. His family says that he has epilepsy but due to his incarceration his adherence to his medication schedule is all awry.
The family is contemplating legal action against the prison where they argue that only one doctor checked in on Rodrigo as opposed to three. An investigation has been opened into whether or not the proper procedures were followed.