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College Soccer Player Involved in Mistaken Identity Case

George Fox Women's Soccer - Nov 2, 2008You never really hear of the University of Evansville when it comes to world or even national news in the sport of soccer.  In fact I have never heard of the University of Evansville at all for that matter. 

But recently the school’s women’s soccer team made the sporting news in a rather strange and unfortunate way. 

The story is a sad one about how the team was preparring to take a flight to a young 19 year old player’s funeral this week after news of teammate Abby Guerra circulated claiming that she was reportidely killed in an Arizona traffic accident while traveling back home with friends from a trip to Disneyland.  

The truth is that after all the terrible news,  mourning, charity services to pay for flights to her hometown, and funeral arrangements that were made by the soccer player’s family, Guerra turns out to be alive and expected to make a full recovery from the terrible incident.  Guerra is currently residing in the critical condition wing of the Phoenix hospital she was rushed to following the wreck and is hopefully expected to return to school for her upcoming sophomore year this fall. 

And the 19 year old apparently survived the accident, but her friend (who was one of several passengers in the car) was the actual person that deceased and the police report or identification process in the hospital following the accident was erroneous and nobody realized the crucial identity mistake until several days later.  

John Stanley, the school’s athletic director, made this statement regarding the bizarre mistaken identity case:

Yesterday, Abby’s parents learned that a young woman lying in a hospital bed in Arizona was in fact their daughter, and the parents of the other girl learned that the daughter they thought was hospitalized was in fact deceased.

And what terrible news for one family and what shockingly, wonderful news for the family of Guerra.  The story sounds like something out of a terrible soap opera, but I’m afraid it is all true and it all really happened.  It certainly isn’t a happy tale by any stretch of the imagination, but an interesting one none the less.  The deceased woman’s name was Marlena Cantu and the twenty one year old’s family was obviously devastated by the shocking loss of a young loved one.  And since Guerra’s family already paid for a full funeral service, I think it would be the nice for the family of fortune and the school to bestow one last gift to the Cantu family. 

In other words it’s the right thing to do.

Creative Commons License photo credit: StuSeeger