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Sisters File Police Report After Columbus Woman Claims Dead Relative

Last updated on Tuesday, December 11, 2012

(INDIANAPOLIS) - It’s a mixup the Marion County Coroner’s office has never seen before.

In one week, two unrelated women with the same name came forward saying the same man is their father.

Yvonne Man, of FOX59 reports, it was a phone call Debbie Lucas never expected to get. Her 75-year-old step-father, Omer Turner, was found dead in his home on Nov. 26. She and her sister, Michele Portish, never imagined what would come next.

The Marion County Coroner's Office said it tried to notify Turner's next of kin by sending letters to seven Debbie Lucas' found in Central Indiana. Surprisingly, two stepped up.

The sisters say a complete stranger, a Debbie Lucas from Columbus, Ind., came forward and signed release papers. She also went into Turner's mobile home and stole the $19 in his wallet, his driver's license, life insurance card, and will.

Portish, says she is lying, claiming the woman was asking neighbor's what his name was and what he looked like and asked where he lived.

That Debbie Lucas called Michelle back during Fox59's interview with the sisters. The woman claimed she was adopted and her mother told her Turner was her father.

Chief Deputy Coroner Alfie Ballew says in his 15 years with the office he had never seen this.

Ballew says according to Indiana law, family can identify a decedent either by dental records, finger prints, DNA or visual ID. The National Association of Medical Examiners said a birth certificate or any other form of formal identification is not necessary.

But nationwide, these documents are not required, Ballew says.

The sisters hope the other Debbie Lucas will return her step-father's IDs so they can lay him to rest. Without the ID they can not make funeral arrangements.

The sisters have filed a police report in hopes of starting a criminal investigation on the case. Turner's body has not been released.

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