Man declared dead returns to claim legal status as he’s still alive

A 44-year-old man returned to his home in Si Sa Ket province only to learn that he was officially declared dead and his family already held a funeral rite for him.

After two years of working in Bangkok and on fishing vessels, Sakorn Sachiwa, a resident of Non Khun district, returned home on Sunday (Dec 17) to the surprise of his family members.

You are dead. How could you come home? Sakorn's mother said when she first met him.

According to his family members, a police officer from Nang Leong police station in Bangkok notified them in May this year that Mr Sakorn was dead and asked the family to come to Vajira Hospital to claim his body.

Forensic autopsy by Vajira Hospital showed the man died from digestive infection.

Upon seeing part of the dead man's face, Mr Sakorn's relatives were uncertain if the corpse belongs to Mr Sakorn because the dead man has full front teeth while Mr Sakorn has two front teeth missing.

However, the police confirmed that the dead man was Mr Sakorn because they found a copy of his identification card and a security firm's employee card with the name and picture of Mr Sakorn in a rented room where he was found dead.

The family then brought the body back home for cremation.

Mr Sakorn said he had never contacted his family since he left home. He said he wanted to return home but had no money. After working on fishing boats for one year, he decided to return home.

He said he had lost his ID card but later applied for a new one.

Mr Sakorn said he would ask the district official to reinstate his legal status so that he would be entitled for social welfare.

Non Khun district officer Pornchai Wong-ngam said he would collect evidence and question his relatives before seeking the return of his legal status.

He said the district removed his name out of the household registration after Nang Leong police station in Bangkok confirmed his death with the issuance of his death certificate.

Source: Thai Public Broadcasting Service (Thai PBS)