Father Buries Wrong Man after Coroner’s Mistake

SANTA ANA, Calif. (AP) – 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 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.

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