A 58-year-old mother believed she had cremated her missing son - only for him to turn up alive and well a day later.
Gina Partington believed her son had died (Pic: MEN)
Gina Partington, from Urmston in Greater Manchester, had mistakenly identified a dead man as her son and went to his cremation on Tuesday.
Police called the next day to say they had found her 39-year-old son, Tommy Dennison, in Nottingham.
Mrs Partington said that her son and the other man, as yet unidentified, "could have been twins".
After she was first told her son was dead she mentioned distinctive scars he had from a previous brain injury and a badly ulcerated leg, and police confirmed it was him.
He had been formally identified by his caseworker, who had reported him missing several days earlier.
And Mrs Partington said when she saw the man lying on the mortuary block she too thought it was her son.
"I went in with my ex-husband who went in first and said: 'Oh my god it's Tommy'.
"I went and lifted the shroud and it was Tommy. I held his hand - it was him."
The man was cremated at a ceremony on Tuesday.
Mrs Partington was picking up her granddaughter from a party on Wednesday when she got a call from police saying they urgently needed to speak to her.
"They showed me a photograph of somebody they said they had in custody in the Midlands for a few days - and it was my son.
"I said: 'No, it's a joke - you're being silly, he's gone'. But they said they'd arrange for me to speak to him.
"Then on the way home I got a surreal call. I've got my granddaughter sitting there in Halloween costume and this boy saying to me, 'Hiya mam it's me Tam.'"
"He said, 'You've buried me,' and I said, 'Yes son and I've given you a really good send off'.
"You've had a Scottish flag and a Scottish minister - it's been a proper Scottish funeral."
Mrs Partington said she did not blame police and admits even she was fooled about his identity.
"They could have been twins - I can't actually accept it wasn't my son. Even the police confirmed it was him. I don't blame anybody," she added.
Police have now told Mrs Partington they will introduce a system of fingerprinting a body that has no identification.
Detectives now believe they know the name of the dead man who died on 12 October near Upper Brook Street in Rusholme, and are trying to contact his family.
The case has been voluntarily referred to the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC).