California father buries wrong man after coroner’s mistake

In this Friday, June 23, 2017 photo, Frank Kerrigan holds onto a a funeral card for his son Frank, near Wildomar, Calif. Kerrigan, who thought his son had died, learned he buried the wrong man. Kerrigan said the Orange County coroner’s office mistakenly identified a body found dead on May 6 as that of his son. (Andrew Foulk/The Orange County Register via AP)

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 (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.

(Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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