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Justin Priest, Alaska Man, Victim Of Mistaken Identity As Police Inform Family Of His Death

10/12/2014 09:34 EDT | Updated 10/14/2014 11:23 EDT

It's every parent's worst nightmare. A knock on the door from police at 3 a.m., informing them their child has died.

Alaska's Jay and Karen Priest experienced this gut-wrenching moment Thursday, when police told them their 29-year-old son Justin Priest died in a car accident, Gawker reports.

The grieving couple went on to inform their other son, Cody, who they say collapsed at the news. The three then went to visit Justin's longtime girlfriend to break the news.

To their surprise, the couple found their son alive and well answering the door at his girlfriend's home.

"There are no words," the mother told the Associated Press. "We just kept staring at him."

On the other side of the door, their son was unaware of the family's hellish night.

"I was mostly asleep. They were yelling, 'Praise Jesus! It's a miracle!'" Justin said.

The police had been looking for the family of another Justin Priest, who did die in an accident, according to CNN. Once the police in Juneau, Alaska realized their mistake, they issued a correction to their earlier news release.

While the family is understandably still recovering from the roller-coaster ride of emotions, Priest said they decided to share their story to raise awareness.

"We wanted to put a little pressure on the police department to make sure this sort of thing doesn't happen again."

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