An Indonesian family lived with the bodies of two dead relatives in the hope that keeping their corpses could bring them back to life, police said on Wednesday.
The bizarre discovery came after a medical officer on a routine visit tipped off authorities after 77-year-old Neneng Hatidjah refused to let the officer inside the house, which was emitting a strange smell.
When local authorities forced their way into the home in Cimahi, West Java, they found the nearly skeletal bodies of Hatidjah’s deceased husband and daughter covered with cloth and laid out in a bedroom.
She had sprinkled powdered coffee around the remains and police said they also found dozens of perfume bottles in the home, about a three-hour drive from the capital Jakarta.
The remains were identified as Hatidjah’s husband, who died in December at the age of 85, and her 50-year-old daughter, who had been dead for two years.
Hatidjah, whose two other children were living in the home, told police that the pair both died of illness, but she did not bury them in the hopes they could be resurrected.
“She said she heard whispers that if she took care of the dead bodies, they would come back to life,” local police spokesman Hari Suprapto told AFP Wednesday.
The septuagenarian was not charged but police said they’re investigating whether foul play may have been involved.
Black magic, which is outlawed, and faith healing are common in Indonesia, a vast archipelago nation in Southeast Asia where many people remain deeply superstitious.