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Fake obit leaves 'dead' woman reeling

Fake obit leaves 'dead' woman reeling

Published: 27 Feb 2013 09:51 GMT+01:00
Updated: 27 Feb 2013 09:51 GMT+01:00

A faked obituary about a 35-year-old woman in western Sweden has left her family in shock, and caused the paper to ramp up its rules about confirming deaths before they publish further obituaries.

"Our dear daughter, sister, and friend has left us today in sorrow," read the obituary, which was published in the Göteborgs-Posten newspaper (GP) last week.

The "dead" woman read the message herself and was left in utter shock.

"My whole body started shaking," she told Sveriges Radio (SR).

"My surname is not so common, I'm the only one who has it. My first thought was that this couldn't be happening and that I had to call my mother, but I couldn't ring her because I knew I'd only start crying."

The writer of the death notice claimed to be the woman's father, and someone claiming to be the woman's sister confirmed the death by phone later in the day.

The 35-year-old's mother was inundated with commiseration messages throughout the day.

GP has now responded that for a person to send in an obit to the paper, the caller must prove that the subject of their message has actually passed away by providing a death certificate.

"I understand that people might get irritated, but we don't want to end up in the same situation again," Cecilia Krönlein, editor of GP, told Medievärlden.

Krönlein added that the call is most often confirmed by funeral directors.

It remains unclear why the woman was targeted by the people who wrote the obituary. The 35-year-old has reported the matter to police.

TT/The Local/og

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