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Family Buries the Wrong Man

Kathleen Miller's 44-year-old son disappeared the day before Valentine's Day in East St. Louis. She worried about Kenneth Stainback, and on Monday, she called the St. Clair County Coroner's Office, asking about any "John Does" found in the area.

The coroner had no information, but Thursday night, East St. Louis Police called Miller, to tell her they found her son, and he had already been buried.

In fact, he was buried by the family of Frederick McWherter, Junior.

McWherter's family buried Stainback, thinking he was their son and father.

Police say the problem began at the scene of a murder in East St. Louis.

The victim had no identification as detectives conducted an initial investigation.

At one point, Frederick McWherter Senior arrived at the crime scene and identified the murder victim as his son, Frederick McWherter, Junior.

It wasn't until the homicide victim was buried that a major mistake surfaced.

The Reverend John Pettiford, who runs the church where Kenneth Stainback was buried, said no one at the service knew their loved one was not in the casket.

Sometime on Thursday, the McWherter's got a call from Frederick Junior, telling them he didn't die, and he was fine, and was in a rehab program in St. Louis.

Michelle McWherter is the wife of Frederick McWherter Junior.

She got a call from a man claiming to be her husband. McWherter says," I said Fred we just buried you and he said no you didn't, I'm at a treatment center in St Louis.”

Apparently, the McWherter's called police, and Thursday night, Kathleen Miller got a call from East. St. Louis police, telling her a terrible mistake had been made.

The mistake, they said, was made by Frederick McWherter Senior, who identified the body found February 15 as that of his son, Frederick Junior.

Apparently, police accepted the identification, and released the body to the McWherter family.

The police, according to Miller, did not fingerprint her son, in hopes of further identifying the body.

If they had, Miller says they would have positively identified him as her son, since his fingerprints are on file. In addition, her son does not look anything like McWherter.

Miller is angry at police for mishandling the case.

The St. Clair County Coroner's office is not taking any responsibility for the case, saying all they do is pronounce victims dead, they don't identify them.

Kathleen Miller is now planning to have her son's body exhumed. Miller is also planning another funeral for her son.

The McWherter's, according to Reverend Pettiford, are rejoicing over the "resurrection" of there relative.

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