Relatives of a teenager thought to have been buried alive in Honduras say they are devastated at the final confirmation of her death.
Neysi Perez, 16, appeared to die after suffering a heart condition after she heard gun shots outside her home. She was buried in the family tomb at a cemetery in the country.
"As I put my hand on her grave, I could hear noises inside," Perez's husband, Rudy Gonzales told Primer Impacto. "I heard banging, then I heard her voice. She was screaming for help."
A small glass panel above the teenager's face had apparently cracked, and when the tomb was broken open, relatives found small bruises and other marks on her skin. Others claimed to hear noises.
This led to the belief that Perez had woken after being buried.
However, after being rushed to a small clinic, no signs of life were found.
Rudy Gonzalez said later: “She was screaming for help. I couldn’t believe it. I was ecstatic, full of hope.”
The fear of being buried alive, taphephobia, is well documented, and is thought to be a common fear.
The incident took place in early July and details emerged after a report on Honduran TV.
Medical professionals say the natural settling of the body could lie behind the damage to the coffin and to Perez's skin.
After death, the body's muscles relax and gasses are released, which may have caused the pressure in the coffin to change.
"Everybody was claiming she was alive so I went through all the necessary procedures," local Dr. Claudia Lopez told Primer.
Perez has since been re-buried.