A grieving family was left in disbelief as they held a formal death certificate and an urn containing what they believed to be their son’s ashes. The somber atmosphere took an unexpected twist when, in a stunning revelation, the family soon uncovered that their supposedly departed loved one was, against all odds, alive and well.

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Woman holding an urn and a lily flower | Source: Shutterstock

Woman holding an urn and a lily flower | Source: Shutterstock

In a bewildering turn of events, Tyler Chase, a man from Oregon, Portland, who had been officially pronounced dead by a Multnomah County Medical Examiner on September 11, 2023, was later found to be alive and well. The family, already grappling with the loss of Chase’s mother in 2020, received the shocking news of his supposed demise, accompanied by a death certificate attributing the cause to a drug overdose.

Tyler Chase’s Cousin Speaks Up

Expressing the family’s grief, Chase’s cousin, Latasha Rosales, shared on social media, “My heart is so heavy today, rest in peace baby cousin Tyler,” upon learning of his alleged passing. The body was cremated on October 1, 2023, and the ashes, believed to be Chase’s, were collected by the family.

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Tyler Chase's cousin, Natasha Rosales, sharing her thoughts on the startling incident, as seen in a video dated January 11, 2024 | Source: youtube.com/nbcnews

Tyler Chase’s cousin, Natasha Rosales, sharing her thoughts on the startling incident, as seen in a video dated January 11, 2024 | Source: youtube.com/nbcnews

However, on December 19, 2023, a startling revelation unfolded when the medical examiner’s office admitted to a grievous mistake, acknowledging that the cremated remains and ashes did not belong to Chase.

They admitted to the egregious mistake of wrongfully declaring him dead.

Amid the distressing mix-up, Rosales received a call from the medical examiner’s office, confirming the error and prompting a Facetime call between Chase and his cousin. Recalling the moment, Rosales said, “It was so surreal, and it just didn’t even, I can’t even explain it.”

Tyler Chase's cousin, Natasha Rosales, sharing her thoughts on the startling incident, as seen in a video dated January 11, 2024 | Source: youtube.com/nbcnews

Tyler Chase’s cousin, Natasha Rosales, sharing her thoughts on the startling incident, as seen in a video dated January 11, 2024 | Source: youtube.com/nbcnews

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Acknowledging a critical error, a spokesperson for the Multnomah County Medical Examiner disclosed that a mistake occurred in September 2023 when the 23-year-old Portland resident was erroneously declared dead from a drug overdose. The startling disclosure of Chase being alive and well prompted his family to contact a local media outlet, eager to share the remarkable story.

Tyler Chase’s Thoughts about Being Wrongfully Declared Dead

Without his family’s knowledge, it was revealed that Chase had been staying in a recovery program for the past several months, dealing with substance abuse after being estranged from his relatives for years. In an exclusive interview, Chase shared details about finding out about the serious mix-up when his approved food assistance benefits unexpectedly became inactive in October 2023.

Describing the disconcerting interaction with the Department of Human Services (DHS), Chase mentioned that they requested him to input his social security and other details, stating, “They were like, ‘Alright, we’ll see if we can help you fix this.'”

Tyler Chase shares his thoughts on being wrongfully declared dead, as seen in a video dated January 10, 2024 | Source: youtube.com/@Fox12oregon

Tyler Chase shares his thoughts on being wrongfully declared dead, as seen in a video dated January 10, 2024 | Source: youtube.com/@Fox12oregon

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The young man recounted that all of a sudden, they started interrogating him, asking to see his ID. He handed it to them, and they seemed as confused as he was, stating that right there, it said he was dead.

The surprising revelation left Chase in disbelief, especially since he had been unsuccessful in reconnecting with his family. Unbeknownst to him, his family had received a formal death certificate and an urn purportedly containing his ashes—though, in reality, they belonged to a stranger.

On December 19, 2023, authorities from the Medical Examiner’s Office in Multnomah County discovered Chase at the recovery center where he was residing. They admitted to the egregious mistake of wrongfully declaring him dead.

Tyler Chase shares his thoughts on being wrongfully declared dead, as seen in a video dated January 10, 2024 | Source: youtube.com/@Fox12oregon

Tyler Chase shares his thoughts on being wrongfully declared dead, as seen in a video dated January 10, 2024 | Source: youtube.com/@Fox12oregon

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County officials conveyed to Chase that the deceased individual discovered in Portland had been carrying his wallet, which was suspected to have been stolen from him at the recovery center. Within the wallet, the sole form of identification was a smudged temporary Oregon driver’s license.

Chase explained that a paper ID of him, which was smudged, was found. He stated that they said, “That’s Tyler John Chase,” and as a result, they recorded him as the deceased individual. Chase added that they notified the family as per protocol.

What Did the County Spokesperson Say?

The Multnomah County Medical Examiner’s Office opted not to disclose the name of the deceased man mistakenly identified as Chase. Instead, a spokesperson for the office shared a statement expressing regret for the misidentification and pledging to implement a policy change.

Person holding a black leather wallet with money | Source: Pexels

Person holding a black leather wallet with money | Source: Pexels

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The county spokesperson conveyed that there was deep regret regarding the misidentification, clarifying that the error occurred because the deceased person had Mr. Chase’s wallet and his official temporary Oregon driver’s license.

According to the statement, the medical examiner’s office acknowledged the need for changes following the confusion Chase and his family experienced. The spokesperson elaborated, stating that the medical examiner’s office had launched a comprehensive review to identify any gaps in current practices and was working to implement an institutional change.

Going forward, the spokesperson explained, all individuals who are found with a temporary state-issued identification must also have fingerprints submitted for “positive identification” to ensure that such incidents would never happen again.

Click here to read another story about a woman who wondered how her mother could leave her at a year old. To her surprise, a police discovery solved her mom’s disappearance 40 years later.

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