Hearse driver stops at bar, keeps dead man’s family waiting

May 26th, 2009 - 2:49 pm ICT by IANS  

Bogota, May 26 (EFE) A dead man’s family had to wait for hours at a cemetery in Colombia, as the hearse driver went to have a few beers, leaving the vehicle carrying the corpse outside a motel.
Relatives of Tito Vasquez, who died Saturday, as well as dozens of friends, waited for several hours Sunday at the Campos de Cristo cemetery in suburban Bogota for the hearse to arrive so that they could bury him.

The body originally had been picked up by a hearse so that it could be taken to the funeral home to be embalmed and prepared for burial, and after that it was placed in the establishment’s viewing room, where friends and relatives paid their last respects.

“But neither Tito nor the vehicle nor the conductor arrived at the cemetery” for the burial, the daily El Tiempo reported.

Vasquez had no enemies during his life, his relatives said while they waited at the cemetery, and they could not understand why his body was not being delivered for the funeral.

In the face of the lack of an adequate answer from the funeral home - which apparently was just as mystified as to what had happened to the body - some of the relatives reported the body missing.

Police reported Sunday night that the Vasquez’s body was found in the hearse in the parking lot of a motel in Bogota’s San Bernardo neighbourhood.

The hearse driver, it seems, had parked the hearse - body and all - there while he went in to El Imperio to have a few beers.

“Still, nobody knows what the conditions were under which the body was found or what will happen to the driver, and the indemnity that the (funeral home) will pay for the damage done to the family of the deceased,” the Bogota daily said.

The burial was later planned for Monday.

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