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Hyogo police took wrong corpse from morgue for autopsy

Police in Hyogo Prefecture performed an autopsy on the wrong body
Officers from the Kawanishi Police Station took the wrong body from a morgue for an autopsy

HYOGO (TR) – A failure to follow protocol caused police officers in Kawanishi City to confuse the bodies of two elderly men, resulting in the wrong corpse undergoing an autopsy, it was learned on Friday, reports NHK (Sept. 23).

Four officers of the police traffic division of the Kawanishi Police Station intended to transport the body of a 74-year-old man killed in a traffic incident from the station morgue to a hospital for an autopsy, but confused the body with that of an 85-year-old man who died at his home, Hyogo Prefectural Police said.

The autopsy was conducted on the 85-year-old man, with the mix-up going unnoticed until another officer realized the body of the 85-year-old was missing.

Officers failed to follow protocol and check the identity of the body, which was stored in a bag at the station morgue along with the other body, police said.

“There was failure to follow checking procedures, such as the names [of the bodies],” police said, according to Nippon News Network (Sept. 23).

Police apologized to the families of both men, and plan to investigate the cause of the incident.

Mired in scandals

Hyogo Prefectural Police have been mired in scandals, according to the Sankei Shimbun (Sept. 23).

For engaging in a sex act on the job at the workplace, a 39-year-old male police inspector received a 10 percent pay cut for three months and a 30-year-old female officer in the same division was given a warning.

A 51-year-old male officer in Mita City was referred to prosecutors, who will decide whether he will stand trial, after he intentionally overlooked his superior’s speeding violation.