After a metro-east father positively identified a homicide victim as his son, family members held a funeral service, only to find out that the man they buried was not their son.
The mother of the real victim called the situation horrible. Both families said the police should've taken fingerprints.
Frederick McWherter Jr., 41, of East St. Louis was incorrectly identified as the man found shot to death last Friday on Wilford Avenue.
The actual victim was Kenneth Stainback, 37, of East St. Louis.
Police Chief Michael Baxton described what happened last Friday:
"The victim didn't have any identification on him at the scene. McWherter's father, Frederick McWherter Sr., showed up at the scene and identified him to the police and the coroner."
Stainback's mother, Kathleen Miller, said she learned about her son at 6 p.m. Thursday when the police talked to her.
"It's horrible," Miller said. "They buried my son. I am going to see about getting the body exhumed so my family can have a funeral for my son."
Miller said her son had used drugs but she does not know why anyone would want to take his life.
Miller said she doesn't know how McWherter identified her son as his son.
"He doesn't look nothing like that man's son," she said.
Police have no suspects or a motive in the shooting.
Published in Belleville News-Democrat from Feb. 22 to Feb. 27, 2008