(CBS DETROIT) – In a bizarre tale of life after death Southfield Fire Chief Johnny Menifee tried to answer questions Wednesday on how four emergency technicians declared a woman dead, who was in fact still alive.

“If you look up the Lazarus syndrome you will see that the very thing you’re talking about has happened,” said Menifee.

Early Sunday morning Timesha Beauchamp was in need of medical attention but she never made it to the hospital.

“At 7:27 in the morning a 911 call was received reporting a 20-year-old female unconscious, unknown if breathing,” he said.

According to the chief crews arrived on scene at 7:34 a.m.

By 8:38 a.m. she was pronounced dead.

The chief says medics from the Southfield Fire Department tried to revive the woman three times before pronouncing her dead but when she was transported here to the James H. Cole funeral home she was found responsive and breathing.

“When the body bag was opened and they were getting ready to obviously embalm her body, Timesha was alive. Her eyes were wide-open,” said the family’s attorney Geoffrey Fieger.

Fieger held a zoom press conference Tuesday alleging that Beauchamp was concealed in a body bag for two hours before she was discovered alive. 

“The family’s Attorney Geoffrey Fieger has made several grossly inaccurate statements which i would like to address today. The most alarming, inaccurate statement is that a Southfield Police officer of firefighter placed ms. Beauchamp in a body bag. That is absolutely untrue. It is not part of our standard operating procedures nor do we carry that equipment,” the chief said.

Chief Menifee says emergency technicians contacted a physician at providence hospital to report the 20-year-old showed no signs of life.

He says Southfield Police also contacted the Oakland County Medical Examiner’s Office and relayed their findings.

The four responding medics are on paid administrative leave.

Beauchamp is currently in critical condition at Sinai-Grace Hospital.

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