A man in Colorado had a recent existential experience after he read about his own death in a local newspaper.
Edgar Balderrama was at work when he received a message stating that there was an emergency and to call home as soon as possible.
"It's sad thinking about the pains my friends and family went through for that little bit of time," he said regarding the falsified obituary published in The Tribune last Friday.
"But it's also kind of cool to realize how many people really love me." Balderrama, who was at his job at Galeton Dairy, when his family feared for the worst.
That morning a friend of the family stopped by his house after reading the newspapers to pay his respects and to see if there was anything he could have done.
"I thought he was looking for (Edgar's) dad," Edgar's wife, Erica Balderrama, said. "I told him he was at work with Edgar and he said, 'No, Edgar's dead.'"
Erica said that the family friend was "crying and holding money." "I think he was thinking we needed help."
She continued to state the when the friend "told me Edgar's obituary was in the paper. I ran outside and got the newspaper and saw it. At first I thought it was identity theft."
The reason for the false obituary was due to a disgruntled family member who was upset with the Balderramas. The family member was cited for misdemeanor harassment by the Greeley Police Department, according to police spokesman Sgt. Joe Tymkowych.
Randy Bangert, executive editor of The Tribune, has never seen or heard of an instance of a falsified obituary since he started at the newspaper 35 years ago.
"This certainly is something that shouldn't have happened, and we apologize to Edgar Balderrama and his family," Bangert said.
"We're reviewing our policies and procedures on accepting obituaries from family members, and we'll be taking steps to ensure it doesn't happen again."