Grieving parents buried the wrong baby after a nurse handed over a girl instead of their son who had died at birth.
Then, rather than admit their mistake, hospital staff dressed the boy in a pink dress and gave him to the girl's heartbroken mum and dad when they came to collect their daughter's body.
By the time the mix up was uncovered, their daughter had already been buried.
Svetlana Tarna, 33, and her husband Constantin, 34, from Chisinau, Moldova, only realised the deception when they got what they thought was their daughter's body home.
They noticed that she seemed different and so checked under her skirt and realised they had been given another couple's dead baby boy.
After several hours, staff found the family who had mistakenly taken the Tarnas' newborn girl.
But it was too late. She was buried without the grieving parents realising they had the wrong child.
The extraordinary story has emerged from Moldova where Chisinau Municipal Hospital staff are set to be dismissed for covering up the mix-up.
Natalia Didencu, the mother who mistakenly buried the Tarnas' newborn girl, said: "No one asked me for my ID. They gave me the child fully dressed in a coffin and I was sure it was my boy. I didn't even think this could happen."
Ion Arteni, deputy director of the Municipal Hospital, said that the employees involved had admitted their guilt and are set to be dismissed after a formal disciplinary hearing next week.
Baby Tarna will not be exhumed, and the Natalia's baby will be buried next to her.
Suggested For You
SUBSCRIBE AND FOLLOW
Get top stories and blog posts emailed to me each day. Newsletters may offer personalized content or advertisements.Learn more