Tags: frank kerrigan | son | alive | wrong | man | buried

Frank Kerrigan's Son Still Alive, He Learns After Burying Wrong Man

Image: Frank Kerrigan's Son Still Alive, He Learns After Burying Wrong Man

Frank Kerrigan holds photograph of his children. (Andrew Foulk/The Orange County Register via AP)

By    |   Monday, 26 Jun 2017 07:29 AM

Frank J. Kerrigan's son is still alive, a fact he was shocked to learn after buyring a body last month that had been identified as his son. A father buried the wrong person, thinking it was his son, after a coroner in California last month misidentified a homeless man.

Kerrigan, who lives in Wildomar, California, and his family spent about $20,000 in May to bury the now-identified homeless man whom they were told was their loved one, Frank M. Kerrigan, 57, KABC-TV reported.

The Kerrigans are blaming the Orange County Coroner's Office for the mishap and will be suing, reported the Orange County Register.

Frank J. Kerrigan said the Orange County coroner told him May 6 that his son, who suffers from mental illness and was homeless, had been identified as a dead man found behind a Verizon store in Fountain County, noted the Register.

The father said he was told he didn't have to identify the body because authorities had already done that through fingerprints.

"When somebody tells me my son is dead, when they have fingerprints, I believe them," Kerrigan told the Register. "If he wasn't identified by fingerprints I would've been there in heartbeat."

Kerrigan's daughter, Carole Meikle, 56, was also told of the death but she did not get a chance to review the body when she arrived at the scene.

The grieving family saw the body days before the funeral and admitted Frank M. Kerrigan was tough to recognize, wrote KABC-TV.

"We were putting an end to his life in the most beautiful way that we knew how to," said Meikle.

Eleven days after the funeral, though, Frank J. Kerrigan appeared at the former home of Bill Shinker, a family friend and one of the pall bearers at the son's funeral, said the Register. He immediately called Frank M. Kerrigan.

"We lived through our worst fear," Meikle told the Register, saying the family was relieved but puzzled by the mistake. "He was dead on the sidewalk. We buried him. Those feelings don't go away."

Attorneys Douglas and Brian Easton told KABC-TV they will file a claim charging the Orange County Register with negligence. The lawyers said they will charge that no fingerprint identification had actually been made and authorities made the bad match off an old driver's license photo, stated the television station.

"The people that we put in place to handle things, when they make these kind of mistakes, they have to be held accountable," Douglas Easton told KABC-TV.

The Orange County Sheriff's Department, which oversees the coroner's office, said Saturday it are conducting its own investigation, said the Register.

The Kerrigan family said that authorities told them that the buried man's fingerprints were re-entered into its database on June 1 and matched another person, reported The Register.

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A father buried the wrong person, thinking it was his son, after a coroner in California last month misidentified a homeless man.
frank kerrigan, son, alive, wrong, man, buried
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2017-29-26
Monday, 26 Jun 2017 07:29 AM
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