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The State

October 13, 1987

A transient who died trying to rescue a woman from drowning in the Sacramento River last month was misidentified by authorities and then cremated--thus diminishing chances of determining his real name. The Sacramento Union said the transient was identified as Daniel Joseph Read because of a birth certificate in his possession. But the real Daniel Joseph Read is alive in Missouri, and he was somewhat taken aback when informed that his death certificate had been issued. The real Read said his birth certificate had been missing since his family moved from his native California in 1969 to the Midwest. The body of the anonymous transient was pulled from the Sacramento River on Sept. 22, three days after diving after a woman whose car drove off the Tower Bridge, killing her and two passengers. Authorities admitted that they did not check fingerprints or dental records, but relied only on the birth certificate to identify the man.

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