Dad receives phone call from son after believing he was dead

Posted June 26, 2017

Kerrigan, of California, got a call 11 days after the funeral service held for the person he believed was his son. "Your son is alive", he said.

Orange County coroner's officials had misidentified the body, the Orange County Register reported.

Kerrigan's sister, Carole Meikle, said that after getting the news, she rushed to the area behind a Verizon Store in Fountain Valley where the body had been found and forced herself to look.

Frank J Kerrigan an 82 year old Orange County, California man has expressed outrage after being led to believe his 57 year old son, had died, leading to the father grieving and spending over $20, 000 in funeral costs.

The family will reportedly file a claim against Orange County next week as a precursor to a lawsuit alleging Frank M. Kerrigan's civil rights were violated because the coroner's office did not make adequate efforts to correctly identify the body.

"The department extends regrets to the family of Frank M. Kerrigan, 57, for any emotional stress caused as a result of this unfortunate incident", according to the release.

"Your son is alive", Bill Shinker, a long-time friend of Frank said and put junior Frank on the phone.

The Orange County Coroner's Office referred to the Sheriff's Office for comment.

"Someone else had a attractive send-off".

Before the ceremony, the elder Kerrigan said, he asked someone at the funeral home to open the casket for a last look.

"We thought we were burying our brother", Frank jnr's sister, Carole Meikle, 56, said.

"When somebody tells me my son is dead, when they have fingerprints, I believe them", Mr Kerrigan said.

When the family received Frank Kerrigan's belongings, there were red flags that pointed to the body possibly not being him.

Doug Easton, an attorney hired by Kerrigan, said coroner's officials apparently weren't able to match the corpse's fingerprints through a law enforcement database and instead identified Kerrigan by using an old driver's license photo. He told authorities he didn't know how his son would look so accepted that it was, in fact, his son in the casket. On top of that, since Kerrigan was declared dead, Social Security and disability payments are being withheld, so now the family has to try to get those restored as well.

It was a miraculous turn of events for the grief-stricken family, though now the question was how could such a mishap occur and who was the individual buried at the Orange County cemetery. "There was blood and dirty blankets", Meikle said.

She also said that she was thrilled and happy that his brother was alive but added that she could not forget the trauma.

She added that her brother chose to return to living on the street and doesn't understand how hard the mistake was on his family.

'We lived through our worst fear, ' Meikle said. Lane Lagaret went on to say the Orange County Sheriff's Department will conduct an internal investigation into the error and that identification procedures and policies will now be reviewed to ensure this doesn't happen again in the future. "We buried him. Those feelings don't go away".