The bizarre story has emerged from Russia, where cops and city officials are trying to unravel the truth.
Daud Daudov, 33, went to officials to lodge a complaint after finding dolls instead of the remains of his babies at the funeral of his children in Dagestan.
He was distressed upon discovering two plastic dolls in dresses and nappies, hidden in shrouds, it’s been reported across Russia media, including EN24 News.
The angry man went to the police and claimed that two of his children had died shortly after being born in Stavropol, but that he was unable to bury them because they’d been replaced with dolls.
Daudov believed that his sons could be “alive” and victims of a baby-selling or adoption racket. He initially accused maternity hospital medics of replacing his “dead newborn twins” with dolls ahead of their funeral, says the Lenta news outlet.
The distraught man even showed a video from the burial after he unwrapped the shrouds to see his babies for the first time – revealing dolls.
Star Hit reports that Daudov also shared film of the doll substitution on social media, where he told viewers: “The children were born healthy.
“They died on February 9 from a cerebral haemorrhage. It is possible to check only through an autopsy. “But, according to Islam, it is impossible to open their body – children must be [laid to rest] as they are.”
The stunned man later told cops he hadn’t unwrapped the shrouds until he joined relatives at the burial in the family’s native region of Dagestan, close to another family grave.
He claimed: “My cousin told me ‘Bro, they are still people… we need to do this in a human way. We need to see their faces before we bury them.’
“I opened the shroud of the first baby and saw there were no eyes. “What was this? I began to open the face of the second one. The same – this was a doll.”
He told the police: “Everyone was shocked, they were both just dolls in disposable nappies, like real kids. After this we called the police.”
However today a senior regional official dismissed it as a fake pregnancy which never happened – with the man’s wife, Laura, reportedly confessing she did not give birth, and had personally wrapped the dolls in a shroud for the funeral to dupe her unsuspecting husband.
“The woman went through a medical examination which established that she did not give birth,” said Stavropol governor Vladimir Vladimirov.
He added: “Later the woman in writing confirmed that the whole story was made up. What can I say? I am speechless.
“Now this is down to the family and the law enforcement. I am hoping that people who have wrongly accused our doctors will apologise.” The odd incident has also been taken up by the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Dagestan.
Daudov had claimed in a video statement – now also released by the Interior Ministry – that his sons had been born healthy at Stavropol perinatal centre in southern Russia.
On Instagram, the ministry said: “Realising all the delicacy and tragedy of this story, we did not plan to publish this video [of the dad].
“But the father not only willingly told about what had happened, but also expressed the hope that the resonance would help to quickly understand this tangled story.” The local maternity hospital also reportedly confirmed that his wife Laura didn’t give birth.
A spokesperson told reporters: “We checked all the bases – such a woman did not come to us. “By the way, the Stavropol maternity hospitals are equipped with surveillance cameras – you can also [check mums] on the records.
“Our perinatal centre deals with the most severe pathologies during pregnancy. “And stillbirths, cases of death of babies have not been seen here for a very long time. And twins, as far as I know – never.”
Laura told reporters that her initial positive pregnancy test was not confirmed.
The tragic woman, in a statement, admitted that she had faked her pregnancy, along with the birth and death of her newborns, because her husband so wanted to have children, add reports.
She added: “I saw how happy my husband was when I told him that I was pregnant. I didn’t want to upset him and therefore decided to lie to him and to our relatives by faking the pregnancy.
“I didn’t have a clear plan. Sometimes I felt as if my tummy was growing, I felt as if I was pregnant. “In January I went to have a look at babies’ cots. It’s hard to explain, from one hand I knew I wasn’t pregnant, but I couldn’t stop pretending.”
She rented a flat near the maternity hospital, bought two dolls and told her family that their twin babies had died after ‘birth’. “On that same day my husband told me that we had to bury the babies in Dagestan, at his family’s graveyard.
“Then (at the burial) my husband unmasked my lies by finding the dolls instead of the babies. “I misled all my relatives and my husband. I am terribly sorry,” Laura told the media.