A US father received a haunting phone call days after his son's funeral.
"Your son is alive," the caller said to 82-year-old Frank J Kerrigan.
"Put my son on the phone," Mr Kerrigan replied. "He said 'Hi Dad.'"
11 days earlier, the family had held a $26,000 funeral, with people travelling across the country to say goodbye to who they thought was 57-year-old Frank M Kerrigan, who was mentally ill and had been living on the street.
The ordeal started when a man's body was found behind a phone store in Fountain Valley, California.
Upon calling the coroner's office, Frank J. Kerrigan was told the man had been fingerprint identified as his son.
“When somebody tells me my son is dead, when they have fingerprints, I believe them,” Kerrigan said as reported by CBS Los Angeles. “If he wasn’t identified by fingerprints I would been there in heartbeat.”
“We thought we were burying our brother,” his sister Carole Meikle said. “Someone else had a beautiful sendoff. It’s horrific.”
“We lived through our worst fear,” she said. “He was dead on the sidewalk. We buried him. Those feelings don’t go away.”
The Orange County Sheriff’s Department is conducting an internal investigation into how the mix-up occurred.
This article originally appeared on Marie Claire.
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