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The coroner's office told man’s family he was dead. Turns out that was wrong

The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department is asking for the public’s help in finding a missing man after he was misidentified as dead by the Los Angeles County Coroner’s office.

Adam Buckley was last seen Aug. 28 after he was released from the Twin Towers Correctional Facility in downtown Los Angeles, according to a Twitter post from the Sheriff’s Department.

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A few days after Buckley was released, the L.A. County Coroner’s office issued a statement about the misidentification.

“We would like to publicly apologize to the family of the man who was misidentified as the decedent, and also express our regrets to the community we serve,” the statement read, before going on to chronicle the events that led to the error.

The Sheriff’s Department alerted the coroner’s office about a body found in Lancaster on July 2. The coroner’s office said it was unable to identify the remains because they had been badly burned.

About a week later, the coroner’s office determined the body was male, but it still couldn’t obtain fingerprints or bone DNA.

On July 26, sheriff’s deputies told the coroner’s office the remains could be those of Buckley, who according to a Facebook post, had been missing since June 12.

After X-ray comparisons, the coroner’s office said the body was Buckley’s, according to the statement, and notified his family.

Buckley, however, was arrested and booked into a downtown L.A. jail on Aug. 25. He was released three days later, at which time an unnamed agency alerted the coroner’s office that Buckley “had been located and was alive,” according to the statement.

“As forensic tools and strategies continue to be developed, we are reevaluating our processes in identification to help keep incidents like this from happening again in the future,” the coroner’s statement said. “These types of mistakes are unacceptable to us and run counter to our mission of looking after and protecting the decedents of Los Angeles County.”

The body still has not been positively identified.

Buckley disappeared from a group home, according to a Facebook post on the page of his mother, Angela Winters.

Friends and family members started two online funding campaigns — one after he was reported dead to raise money for his funeral, which is now closed, and the second on Go Fund Me to offer a reward for anyone with information about his whereabouts.

Buckley suffers from schizophrenia and could be in the Los Angeles or Santa Clarita areas, according to the Sheriff’s Department.

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