MINNEAPOLIS (AP) - A man who died late last month in a motorcycle crash in suburban Minneapolis was mistakenly identified as his close friend, dealing a shock to that man’s family and friends until the error was sorted out.
Jacob Lindholm, 29, died in the crash on July 25, but he was misidentified as Trevor Zens, whose motorcycle he had borrowed. The mix-up was the result of police not being able to find a photo ID at the crash scene on County Road 46 in Lakeville, the Star Tribune (https://strib.mn/1JcAJfi ) reported.
Police ran the motorcycle’s registration and after pulling Zens’ name up, they went to his house in Farmington to notify his family of his death. Several hours later, his family learned he was alive.
Lakeville Police Chief Jeff Long and Hennepin County Medical Examiner Dr. Andrew Baker, whose office is in charge of making the official identification, both said such a mix-up is rare because there’s usually something near the body to help authorities identify the victim.
“Most people who die, die in a location they’re expected to be in anyway,” Baker said.
In addition to the lack of photo ID, the impact of Lindholm’s crash made it more difficult for authorities to identify him. After police spoke to Zens’ former girlfriend, Melony Schmitz, there also wasn’t any reason for them to believe the victim was anyone other than Zens, Long said.
Lindholm ultimately was identified as the victim from the bright blue squid tattoo on his left arm.
“It was like the worst and best day of my life,” Schmitz said of the mix-up involving her ex-boyfriend and close friend. “The three hours I thought he was dead felt like my world had been shattered.”
Information from: Star Tribune, https://www.startribune.com
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