It is understood the man was mistakenly buried weeks earlier in the place of a woman from another remote Northern Territory community, The NT News reports.
The morgue mix-up comes more than a year after the NT Ombudsman called on the Government to stop passing the buck on who should run bush morgues.
The woman’s family thought they had already laid her to rest her two weeks ago at Palumpa, about 250km south-southwest of Darwin.
It is understood the body will now be exhumed. “It’s bad … wrong bodies on wrong land, and different clans,” said an anonymous source.
The bodies had been stored in the tiny morgue at Wadeye, about 50km west of Palumpa.
It is said to be the result of a mistake, discovered only on Friday when the man’s coffin was opened.
It is understood a volunteer was in a hurry and did not check inside a body bag when the body was collected from the morgue. The morgue is operated by volunteers only.
The NT Health Department said it provided no funding for the morgues.
Ombudsman Carolyn Richards called on the NT Government to end the buck-passing by identifying who should run bush morgues and funding them to do it.