Orange County, California
Orange County, California. Trace Rouda—Getty Images

Dead Man Buried by Wrong Family Identified as Veteran

Jul 09, 2017
(SANTA ANA, Calif.) — Southern California authorities have revealed the name of a dead man they misidentified and who was buried by the wrong family.It's a U.S. Army vet whose family hadn't talked to him in 30 years.The Orange County Sheriff's Department said Friday the man found dead with an enlarged heart behind a Verizon store on May 1 was 54-year-old John Dickens.

They had originally misidentified him as Frank Kerrigan, and Kerrigan's family held a funeral and buried him. Then, 11 days later, Kerrigan showed up alive.

Dickens' sister, Diane Keaton, tells the Orange County Register the family hadn't spoken to Dickens in decades and feared he might be dead.

Now Dickens' remains, which were identified using fingerprints, will be exhumed, cremated, and flown back to family members in Kansas.

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