January 16, 2008 / 1:11 PM / 11 years ago

Lithuanian police ask suspect: aren't you dead?

A worker carries a coffin at Vic Fearn and Company in Nottingham November 2, 2007. REUTERS/Darren Staples

VILNIUS (Reuters) - Police in the Lithuanian city of Klaipeda were baffled to discover that a woman arrested for shoplifting last weekend had been registered as dead a month earlier.

The woman’s parents had mistakenly identified a body found in a forest as that of their 27-year-old daughter, Natalya Pavlova, who disappeared from home in November, police said on Wednesday.

It emerged that Pavlova was alive and well and living with her boyfriend in the same town.

“Her parents identified the corpse as their daughter. What could we do?” Petras Mikalauskis, a deputy police chief for the area, told Reuters.

“It was the first such case in my experience.”

The real identity of the dead woman was not known. The police have launched an investigation.

Reporting by Nerijus Adomaitis; editing by Andrew Dobbie

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