U.S. Army veteran buried in place of alive person because of identity mix up

Veteran John Dickens while serving in the Army in 1987. (Courtesy of Diane Keaton)

A US Army veteran who died behind a Verizon store in California earlier this year was reportedly confused for another man and buried by a family other than his own.

54-year-old John Dickens’ body was mistakenly identified as 57-year-old Frank Kerrigan, whom -as of the time of this article’s publishing- is still very much alive.

This, however, did not stop the Kerrigan family from burying Dickens to the tune of $20,000, thinking the body was that of their own kin.

Eleven days after the funeral, the un-dead Kerrigan showed up at a family friend’s house.

Following the positive identification of Dickens, his family has since asked that the formerly homeless man’s body be exhumed, cremated and sent back to his native Kansas.

Orange County officials say that the Dickens family will not be charged for the cremation.

“I would have liked the opportunity to look into his coffin and tell him I love him,” Dickens’ sister, Diane Keaton, told The Orange County Register. “It’s like he died all over again.”

A US Army veteran who was discharged in 1987, Dickens had lived with his family thirty years ago, but left when it was discovered that Keaton was expecting her second child. With Dickens out of work and the family unable to support him, the veteran left, promising to contact them when he got back on his feet.

“The last thing he said to me was, ‘As soon as I get settled, I’ll call you or write a letter,’” Keaton said. “That’s the last we heard of him. But we never stopped searching.”

Thirty years later,it appears that Dickens will finally come home- just not in the way his sister had hoped.

“If I could see him again, I would wrap my arms around him and tell him I missed him,” Keaton said. “And I’d tell him never to disappear like that again.”

© 2017 Bright Mountain Media, Inc.

All rights reserved. The content of this webpage may not be reproduced or used in any manner whatsoever without the express written consent of Bright Mountain Media, Inc. which may be contacted at info@brightmountainmedia.com, ticker BMTM.

Post navigation