IN CARRIE Minney's dream, she was on the phone, and someone was saying that her daughter was still alive.
It had to have been a dream, because Minney buried her daughter, Sharolyn Jackson, in New Jersey on Aug. 3, about a week after she was found dead at 59th and Spruce streets in West Philadelphia.
Family members were at the funeral. They saw Jackson in the casket. Talked about how sad it was and, as an afterthought, how her nose looked somewhat different.
Turns out, they were on to something.
The phone call that Minney, 69, thought she was dreaming of on Aug. 17 was real. Her daughter had miraculously turned up alive the day before at a city hospital.
Jackson, 50, didn't crawl out of her grave; she had simply been missing in Philly.
The identity of the woman Jackson's family grieved for and buried is still a mystery.
"We're all so happy that she's alive," Minney said yesterday. "But we are concerned about the person who's in that grave."
Minney, of Trenton, said her daughter has been struggling with drug problems. The two last spoke around July 1, when Jackson told her mother she was enter a treatment program.
"I don't know when she actually went missing," Minney said.
A woman matching Jackson's description died of heat stroke on July 20, after paramedics found her body in West Philly.
A Philly Horizon House worker and Jackson's son, Travis Jackson, 30, identified her from a photo. A medical examiner signed a death certificate and released what they thought was Jackson's body.
"If someone comes in and they're a family member and say, 'That's my mom,' that's generally good enough," city Health Department spokesman James Garrow said.
At Jackson's funeral, some relatives puzzled over the corpse in the casket.
"Everybody in the family said she didn't look quite right," Minney said. "But people don't always look the same when they're dead. . . . But they had the same body, same forehead, same hands."
Minney said she spoke to her daughter by phone, and hopes to learn more about what happened when Jackson fully recovers.
She also wants to identify the woman the family buried.
"It's really bothering me that some mother is out there probably looking for her daughter and don't know where she's at."
- The Associated Press
contributed to this report.