After going through the trauma of ‘losing his newborn baby’, a grieving father was subjected to further distress after digging up the child’s coffin; only to find a doll inside.
Honduran Armed Forces member Melvin Mendoza from El Paraíso, Honduras quickly learned the bitter truth: he had been mourning an infant who had never even existed.
Melvin’s partner Rosa Castellanos Diaz had managed to feign pregnancy for nine months, fooling family and friends alike in an apparent bid to keep their relationship together. She even announced she was expecting twins after having an ‘ultrasound’
And her lies only escalated from there…
On July 2017, Diaz told Melvin she needed to go to the Honduran capital of Tegucigalpa to give birth at the Escuela Hospital. Once there, she rang Melvin with some terrible news.
Diaz claimed she had given birth to twins. However, one had tragically passed away while being delivered, with the other remained sick in the hospital.
When Diaz returned home to El Paraíso, she brought with her a small white coffin which she claimed held the remains of the deceased twin.
She arranged a vigil for the dead child, attended by those wishing to pay their respects, serving coffee, bread and other snacks.
Diaz even held a funeral at her local cemetery in El Coyolar. Devastated friends and family members took it in turns to carry the tiny coffin to its final resting place.
Melvin was said to so emotionally affected by the loss, he had to be supported by his friends as the casket was lowered into the earth.
However, suspicions were raised when Diaz refused to allow anyone to look inside the coffin. She reportedly said the hospital had sealed the coffin and had told her not to open it.
Melvin became worried this precaution was more than just a mother’s grief, and decided to investigate.
The day after the funeral, Melvin and some friends returned to the cemetery to dig up the coffin.
Upon opening it, there was no body to be found. Instead, the group found a plastic doll wrapped up in a blanket.
Melvin also contacted Escuela Hospital, where Diaz had claimed the other twin was being treated, only to find she had never even been registered there.
One of Melvin’s friends, Ismael Mejia, explained the situation to El Heraldo:
When we pulled out the box, to our surprise what we found inside was a doll, dressed up as if it were a child.
We took the coffin to the police so they could see that we didn’t take the child out of the box and replace it with a doll.
The Public Prosecutor’s Office of Danli have now begun an investigation into the case. However, Melvin has reportedly chosen not to press charges against Diaz.
It has not been made clear how Diaz was able to fake a pregnancy for so many months, or why she was so terrified of her partner leaving her.
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Jules studied English Literature with Creative Writing at Lancaster University before earning her masters in International Relations at Leiden University in The Netherlands (Hoi!). She then trained as a journalist through News Associates in Manchester. Jules has previously worked as a mental health blogger, copywriter and freelancer for various publications.