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Odessa Jones, University Of Maryland-Baltimore County Student Reported Dead, Is Actually Alive

11/19/2012 01:16 pm ET | Updated Nov 19, 2012

The University of Maryland-Baltimore County informed community members last week of the death of a student. Just one problem: She was actually alive.

Nancy Young, UMBC vice president for student affairs, sent an email to students and faculty on Nov. 14 to inform them of the death of Odessa Jones, a psychology student, WTOP reported. Funeral services were planned for Friday evening at a Silver Spring, Md., church.

But when Montgomery County police sent detectives to the reportedly dead student's home, Jones answered the door.

The Baltimore Sun reports the school sent a follow-up email the next day titled, "Comforting News for the UMBC Community," letting students know the report of Jones's death was a false alarm.

Jones, 33, told the Maryland Gazette a family member made up a story that Jones had committed suicide and reported it to the school.

“I don’t know what I’m going to do yet,” Jones told the Gazette. “I may press charges against the family member, but I have not decided.”

The family member apparently fooled Christ Congregational Church in Silver Spring as well. The church confirmed the planned funeral services for Jones when UMBC called to check -- both initially and even after the school realized Jones was still alive.

"We called the church back," Elyse Ashburn, a university spokeswoman, told the Sun. "At that point, they were still planning to have the services."

A receptionist at the church told the Sun the services have since been canceled.

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