Parents Stunned When Son They Thought Was Dead Answers The Door
In an unbelievable turn of events, grieving Alaska parents went to the home of their son’s girlfriend to tell her he was dead — only to be shocked when he opened the door, alive and well. The situation unfolded after police in Juneau mistakenly told Karen and Jay Priest that their 29-year-old son Justin had been killed in a car crash.
They were understandably stunned — and sobbing — when Justin opened the door of his girlfriend’s house. “There are no words,” Karen Priest told the Associated Press. “We just kept staring at him.” The case of mistaken identity occurred after botched communication among law enforcement officers.
A different Justin Priest, 33 years old and from Juneau, had died in a wreck there. But when the local police reached out to Alaska state troopers to get information about Priest from his parents, the message was misinterpreted, and the troopers went to the still-alive Priest’s family’s home near Anchorage to deliver a message of his supposed death.
When Priest’s grieving parents called the Juneau PD to verify the horrible news, they were told again that their son had died in an accident. That’s when they began contacting loved ones — including their other son — to tell them Justin was dead, eventually driving to his girlfriend Julia’s home to tell her in person. Their son answered the door.
“It opens and right here is Justin. I don’t even see it but Jay is sobbing. It doesn’t compute to me. Then I see him,” says Karen. “You want it to be true, but you go, ‘Am I hallucinating?’ Justin didn’t know what was going on.” Wow.