Man sleeps with dead wife years after burial

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Bereaved husband would rather live with dead woman than the “cold-hearted” world.

A man in Quang Nam Province has been sleeping next to his dead wife for four years.

Le Van, 56, said he had dug up her body in 2005 and encased her remains in a plaster container, which he has slept beside every night ever since.

Van, from the central province’s Thang Binh District, said the bones inside the plaster belonged to his wife Pham Thi Sang, who died in 2003.

Dr. Le Van Dan of Military Hospital 17 x-rayed the mummy-like encasement, complete with sculpted and feet and a painted face, and confirmed that there appeared to be the remnants of a skeleton enclosed.

“Most bones were found at their proper positions,” Dan said, adding that only some bones had been placed abnormally.

An X-ray pictures of the encasement

Van, who welcomed the X-ray, appeared delighted that his claims had been confirmed.

“I know what I did was also what I said. But many people said I made up the story to become famous,” he said. “But I have my own reasons for bringing my wife’s dead body home.”

However, Van might not get to hold on to her much longer.

Luong Tan Tai, chief of police office in Thang Binh District, said that authorities would have to remove the body from Van’s house for “both environmental and cultural reasons,” if they did indeed discover that the body was real.

But he said a police inspection of the statue’s legs Monday had only found two pieces of wood inside.

“But the findings are not conclusive now and the investigation is still continuing,” Tai said.

Tomb raider

Van’s wife died suddenly in 2003 when he was working away from home. Since then, he has maintained claims that his wife was murdered, although the family tells him she died naturally at home in her sleep.

At the funeral, the distraught husband had insisted that the burial be delayed as her sudden death was a great shock to him.

Almost two years later, he was found digging up her grave, only to fill it in later after facing strong reactions from both his relatives and local authorities.

Four months later, when everyone thought he’d already given in, Van brought home a human-sized statue and claimed it was his wife.

“I sneaked out at night, dug up her grave and put her body inside the statue I had made earlier. Then I brought her home with me,” he said.

“We lived together for a long time and we had six children. So it’s impossible to say I didn’t love her a lot. But love is not the only reason for what I did,” Van told Thanh Nien.

“I’ve seen people living cold-heartedly. I’d rather live with a dead body.”

Reported by Vu Phuong Thao

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