Family buries wrong person due to coroner’s mistake
Frank Kerrigan was grieving the death of his son when all of sudden he gets a phone call telling him his son is alive. Unfortunately, the shocking and saddening news was a mistake, because officials from the Orange County Coroner's Office misidentified the body of a man in Fountain Valley, California.
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The 82-year-old father was told the coroner's office found the body of his son, Frank M. Kerrigan who was mentally ill and had been living on the street. Apparently, the identification was made through fingerprints.
"When somebody tells me my son is dead when they have fingerprints, I believe them," Kerrigan said. "If he wasn't identified by fingerprints I would been there in heartbeat."
But, the officials failed and did not identify the corpse through fingerprints and instead based their decision on an old driver's license photo.
The family spent 20,000 in funeral costs and buried the unknown body 150 feet from where Kerrigan's wife is buried. They plan to file a lawsuit against the O.C. Coroner's office.