While an English mother prayed for her son to come home, his body lay in a mortuary because staffers had forgotten to test his DNA.
The Daily Mirror reports that Sean Hutchinson's body was found in 2003 on the Goodwin Sands, a sandbar off the coast of Kent in southern England. His mother had last seen him when he stopped at home to pick up some CDs to take to a cousin's barbecue near his home in Yorkshire.
The young man did not return to the barbecue, and no one knows why his body turned up hundreds of miles away. The body had been in the water too long to determine the cause of death.
The body lay unidentified for two years while Hutchinson's family hoped that he was still alive.
"We have gone all over the country looking for him," said Gail Hutchinson, his mother. "I have been through two years of hell and I needn't have. Every time the phone goes I wonder if it's him. Every time a youngster walks into my shop I check to see if it's him. We have followed lads on bikes thinking 'that's our Sean.'"