SANTA ANA, Calif. (AP) — The Latest on a mix-up by a Southern California’s coroner’s officer that led a family to bury a man wrongly identified as their son (all times local):
An official is apologizing to a family who buried an unidentified man that was wrongly identified by the coroner’s office as their son.
Sheriff’s Lt. Lane Lagaret, a spokesman for the coroner’s office, says in a statement Saturday that the department extends regrets to the family of 57-year-old Frank Kerrigan “for any emotional stress caused as a result of this unfortunate incident.”
Kerrigan’s parents buried a body identified by officials as their son on May 6. Eleven days later, a family friend called them to say their son was alive.
Lagaret says the Orange County Sheriff’s Department is conducting an internal investigation into the mix-up.
He says that all identification policies and procedures will be reviewed to ensure no misidentifications occur in the future.
A Southern California man who thought his son had died has learned he buried the wrong man.
Eighty-two-year-old Frank J. Kerrigan of Wildomar says the Orange County coroner’s office mistakenly identified a body found dead on May 6 as that of his son.
Kerrigan says he was told fingerprints were used to ID 57-year-old Frank M. Kerrigan, who is mentally ill and homeless.
But Kerrigan’s lawyer tells the Orange County Register (http://bit.ly/2tZSyZj ) it appears authorities weren’t able to match fingerprints from the corpse before concluding it was Kerrigan’s son.
A $20,000 funeral and burial were held.
Eleven days later, Kerrigan’s friend called to say his son was alive. Kerrigan says his son got on the phone and told him: “Hi Dad.”
A coroner’s spokesman says the case is under investigation.