A grieving father was shocked to receive a phone call from his son, whom he had laid to rest 11 days earlier.
Frank J. Kerrigan, 82, from California, was told by the Orange County coroner that his homeless son had been found dead in the street, having falsely identified the body using fingerprinting.
Kerrigan, grieving for his son, who was suffering from mental illness, went to the site where the body was found on May 6 amid blankets to lay flowers.
On May 12, the family held a $20,000 funeral that drew 50 people from as far away as Las Vegas and Washington.
But only days later, Frank received a phone call from a friend who told him his son, Frank M Kerrigan, 57, was still alive. The friend swiftly passed the phone over to his companion; none other than the 57-year-old, alive and well.
Later, it was discovered that the Orange County coroners had mistaken another man, who had passed away, for Frank’s son.
The body wrongly believed to be Frank’s was buried at a cemetery about 150 feet from the resting place of Kerrigan’s mother.
The incorrect identification led Frank’s disability benefits to cease, and the family are currently trying to restore them, as well as taking a course of legal action against the authorities.
The Kerrigan family have dubbed the incident ‘horrific’ and allege the coroners did not take appropriate measure to identify the body as it was that of a homeless person.
Carole Mikeile, Frank’s sister said:
We lived through our worst fear. He was dead on the sidewalk. We buried him. Those feelings don’t go away.