Letter admonished investigator who misidentified homicide

Save Story

Estimated read time: 1-2 minutes

This archived news story is available only for your personal, non-commercial use. Information in the story may be outdated or superseded by additional information. Reading or replaying the story in its archived form does not constitute a republication of the story.

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — An investigator who mistook a homicide as a fatal overdose was issued a letter of reprimand for the error from the Louisiana coroner's office where he works.

W. Shane Tindall was found to be at fault for the misidentified cause of death, The Advocate reported, citing the letter by East Baton Rouge Coroner's Office chief of investigations Shane Evans, which was obtained through a public records request.

Joah Ross, 26, was found unresponsive in a home on New Years Day. Officials with the police department and coroner's office initially assumed the death was an overdose because drugs were found in the room where Ross died, the newspaper reported.

Funeral home workers later discovered a gunshot wound. Authorities launched a homicide investigation but the death remains unsolved, The Advocate reported.

“We must pause and imagine what could have become of this if the family had requested a direct cremation,” Evans said in the letter. “We are fortunate the funeral partner recognized the error and contacted us immediately,” he wrote.

The letter was put in Tindall's personnel file but he wasn't otherwise punished, Evans said. He added that Tindall has been with the coroner's office for over four years and hadn't had any prior issues.

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Most recent U.S. stories

Related topics

The Associated Press


    Get informative articles and interesting stories delivered to your inbox weekly. Subscribe to the KSL.com Trending 5.
    By subscribing, you acknowledge and agree to KSL.com's Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.

    KSL Weather Forecast