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Bloke who was wrongly declared dead and ‘cremated’ says getting a job was a nightmare

Bloke who was wrongly declared dead and ‘cremated’ says getting a job was a nightmare

Being wrongly declared dead can really mess up your job hunting efforts, as this poor fella found out.

Being wrongly declared dead can really mess up your job hunting efforts, as this poor fella found out.

A death certificate was issued for Tyler Chase and his body was supposedly 'cremated' - despite the fact that he was actually alive and well. Take a look at this:

The 22-year-old, from Portland, Oregon, explained that his family were notified that he had passed away on September 11, 2023, after the Multnomah County Medical Examiner’s Office ruled he had died of an overdose.

The lad had lost touch with the majority of his relatives as he battled years of drug addiction and homelessness, on top of losing his mother in 2020 and a spell in prison in January last year.

"My life was a mess," Tyler told the New York Times.

He was eventually released into a transitional housing facility on the condition that he completed an addiction recovery program - all while his loved ones believed he was dead and had what they thought were his ashes in an urn.

It was only when Tyler visited a shop to utilise his food stamps a few months into his stay and realised that his benefit card was no longer active that alarm bells started ringing.

By this point, he had been sober for several months and desperately hunting for a job - but he soon realised that 'you can't really apply to places when you're dead', making it a nightmare to find work.

Tyler Chase was wrongly declared dead.
KPTV Fox 12 Oregon

Although he was still firmly in the land of the living, state officials in Oregon disagreed.

After Tyler contacted them to chase up the benefit issue, they informed him that a death certificate had been filed in his name - prompting the Portland Police Bureau to turn up at the transitional housing facility to check why he apparently wanted a 'dead' man's details.

The officer who was the first to hear the bizarre explanation told him: "Never in the 20 years I’ve served have I dealt with something like this."

When Tyler later turned up to the Department of Human Service to iron out the not-really-being-dead issue, he recalled how the staff looked just 'as confused as I was, and they’re like, ‘Right here it says you are dead'.'

It turns out there had been a major mix up when the lad was 'found dead' - another man who had also been living at the recovery centre had Tyler's wallet and temporary driver's license on him when he suffered an overdose.

It had his name on it, but no photograph... which is how the Multnomah County Medical Examiner’s Office mistakenly identified the 'older, shorter, skinnier and ginger' bloke as the 22-year-old.

Tyler said: "So, they find a paper ID of me that's smudged and everything and they were like 'that's Tyler John Chase,' so they put him down as me. And then they notified the family like protocol."

His family received an urn of what they thought were his ashes.
KPTV Fox 12 Oregon

The office said they had informed his family of his assumed death and that the relatives declined to view the body, so it was cremated on 1 October and the ashes were given to Tyler's cousin, Latasha Rosales.

The 35-year-old said that her family had raised more than $1,000 (£790) to pay for the cremation and that she 'thought she was being pranked' when she received a call informing her that her little cousin was still alive.

Although Latasha was overjoyed, she still feels 'sad' about the situation because she 'had the ashes of someone’s child, and they didn’t even know that their loved one was dead.'

"They just treat them [addicts] like they’re no one," she added.

Tyler, who has since found work at an organisation which helps the homeless in Portland, said the debacle of being wrongfully declared dead made him realise 'that could have been me', so he has turned his life around.

A spokesperson from county said: "We deeply regret that the misidentification happened. The misidentification occurred because the deceased person was carrying Mr. Tyler Chase's wallet and his official temporary Oregon driver's licence.

"Going forward, all individuals who are found with a temporary state-issued identification must also have fingerprints submitted for positive identification, to ensure that this will never happen again."

Featured Image Credit: KPTV/Fox

Topics: US News, News, Weird