Clerical error causes medical examiner to say family's loved one was murdered

The Wayne County Medical Examiner is apologizing to a Detroit family tonight.

In a matter of 24 hours, the family learned their loved was dead, told he was murdered and then come to find out, that wasn't the case at all. The mistake traced back to the Wayne County Medical Examiner's office.

On Thursday Sheereen Raheem and her family received the heart-breaking news her 37-year-old brother Malik Raheem was dead.  A friend went to his Detroit apartment on Faust and found him dead in bed. She called 911.

EMS, police and the Wayne County Coroner arrived, telling the family he had been dead for a couple of days. There were no signs of trauma. But on Friday when several family members called the medical examiner's office to find out how he died. They were shocked to find out Malik had been murdered.

Investigators told them Malik died from three gunshot wounds. "It is just so much to take in at this time," said Sheereen Raheem. "I am (at a loss) for words."

The family reached out to FOX 2 as it started looking for answers. Who killed Malik and why wasn't Detroit police investigating this from the start.

FOX 2 called Detroit police, who come to find out, was just as shocked to learn what the medical examiner revealed. They looked into it and as we discovered Malik wasn't murdered after all.

Someone at the medical examiner's office made a big mistake.

"This is so awful," Sheereen said. "They don't even know the cause of death."

A Wayne County spokesperson said it was a clerical error. The doctor at the medical examiner's office put the wrong manner and cause of death by Malik's name.

All of which put a family, who was already grieving, through even more unimaginable pain.

"They mistook him for the wrong person," she said. "This had us in disbelief. We don't know who to turn to, where to go."

The family still doesn't know how Malik died and the autopsy results are pending.

Lloyd Jackson with the county medical examiner said it was an isolated incident and didn't mean to cause additional grief for the family, offering their sincerest apology.


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