Family members of a UPS worker who was found dead late last month said someone has been sending them suspicious messages pretending to be their beloved father and brother in a “cruel prank” following his death.
Jeffery Flowers’ body was found by a friend just before 11:30 p.m. on Nov. 30 in the 6800 block of South Merrill Avenue, authorities said. He was pronounced dead at the scene, but the Cook County Medical Examiner’s office said nearly two weeks later, the cause and manner of death are still pending.
Police said a death investigation remained ongoing as of Wednesday, but family members say questions remain - including why they weren’t notified until Dec. 8.
“The strange thing about it is my brother has been at the morgue since Nov. 30 and no one in the family knew,” said Flowers’ brother Timothy Kern.
Kern noted that cash and credit cards were missing from Flowers’ wallet. The 53-year-old had just been paid that day, his family said.
Family members said they had been receiving messages on Facebook and via text sent from someone claiming to be their beloved brother and father, so they never suspected what had actually happened to him.
“People keep asking us, ‘Why did not you know your brother was dead?’ Well, we thought we were talking to my brother,” Kern said. “People were communicating with who they thought was my bother via Facebook messenger, calls.”
Flowers’ daughter, Ciara Helm, said she has also received messages from someone claiming to be her father, even after his death.
“They said they were my dad,” she told NBC 5. “He is basically saying that he is my dad, like he is trying to steal his identity.”
Helm said her father was recently released from jail and was “bettering himself.” She found out about his death when someone identifying themselves as a friend of her father messaged her saying her dad passed away of a drug overdose and had been in the morgue for over a week.
“Immediately what I did is get in touch with my uncles,” she said. “I really don’t know what to do. I called my uncles and nobody knew nothing and we still don’t know nothing. We don’t know how it happened.”
She called the messages a “cruel prank” and said she plans to “get to the bottom of it.”
“We just really want to know who did it and why,” Helm said. “Why are you all still doing this to us? We are going through enough. They are making it worse every day, logging on through his Faceboook, steady texting us, steady pretending to be him and he is in this funeral home – dead. We just saw him.”
Police did not offer information on if Flowers’ death was suspicious and would only say a death investigation remained ongoing.