Sheriff officials in Orange County, California, have admitted that they wrongly identified the body of a man found dead outside a cell phone store, weeks after a funeral and burial were held for the wrong man.
On Saturday, the Orange County Sheriff’s Department, which oversees the coroner’s office, issued a statement saying the agency “extends regrets” to the family of 57-year-old Frank Kerrigan, who was identified as deceased on May 6, but is in fact alive.
The department said it has launched an internal investigation to find out what went wrong, including reviewing its policies and procedures for identifying the deceased.
The father of the misidentified man told the Orange County Register that he he was informed by the Orange County Coroner’s office on May 6 that his son, Frank Kerrigan, was found dead outside of a Verizon store in Fountain Valley, California.
His son is homeless and suffers from mental illness.
The family held a funeral on May 12, during which the elder Frank Kerrigan said he opened the casket but did not realize the body was not that of this son.
Less than two weeks after that, he received a call from a family friend who had encountered the younger Frank Kerrigan, and reported that he was very much alive.
Buzzfeed reports that the family has retained a lawyer in regards to this incident.
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