Detectives with the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department Missing Persons Unit are seeking the public’s help in locating a man who was wrongly identified as being dead this week by the coroner.
Adam Michael Buckley, 27, who is now being sought, was the man wrongly identified.
Dr. Jonathan R. Lucas, chief medical examiner-coroner, extended a public apology to the man’s family in a news release issued Friday.
“Los Angeles County Department of Medical Examiner-Coroner has determined it incorrectly identified a body that was found burned beyond recognition in a remote area of Lancaster,” he said in the release. “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.”
Buckley was last seen Aug. 28, when he was released from Twins Towers Correctional Facility on 450 Bauchet Street in Los Angeles.
He may possibly be in the Los Angeles or Santa Clarita area, sheriff’s Deputy Kimberly Alexander wrote in a news release issued Tuesday.
Buckley is described as white, 5-foot-10, 165 pounds, with brown hair and brown eyes.
He was last seen wearing a brown and white plaid shirt, with gray pants.
Buckley suffers from schizophrenia, and his family is very concerned for his well-being.
On July 2, deputies with the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department alerted the coroner about a body found in Lancaster.
“Due to the extreme thermal damage of the body and no evidence of identification near or on the decedent, the body was brought to our office and listed as an Undetermined Doe,” Lucas explained in his news release.
Less than a week later, and after further analysis, coroner’s officials verified the decedent was a male, and he was classified as John Doe No. 176.
Coroner staff was unable to capture fingerprints or bone DNA due to the extensive damage of the body, Lucas reported.
On July 26, LASD contacted our investigators and indicated that John Doe No. 176 could possibly be a missing person by the name of Adam Buckley.
Less than three weeks later, our board-certified radiologist compared body X-rays known to be of Mr. Buckley with body X-rays of the decedent and, based on the information known at that time, confirmed the identification for LASD.
Immediately after the identification, our office notified Mr. Buckley’s legal next of kin of the match and John Doe No. 176 was identified as Adam Buckley.
“Identification is one of the department’s most important functions, and it is a responsibility we take very seriously,” Lucas said. “In this instance, we made an error based on the information that we had at the time, but no longer believe to be correct.”
The Department of Medical Examiner-Coroner is “re-evaluating” its processes in identification “to help keep incidents like this from happening again in the future.
“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,” Lucas said. “We are committed to making improvements wherever they are warranted.”
Anyone with information about the disappearance is encouraged to contact the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department’s Homicide Bureau, Missing Persons Unit, Detective Abraham or Sergeant Nava at (323) 890-5500.
If you prefer to provide information anonymously, you may call “Crime Stoppers” by dialing (800) 222-TIPS (8477), use your smartphone by downloading the “P3 MOBILE APP” on Google Play or the App Store, or by using the website website http://lacrimestoppers.org.