Caddo Parish Coroner's Office

Services

The Coroner’s Office also handles Orders of Protective Custody and Coroner Emergency Certificates for those in need of immediate medical treatment because he/she is dangerous to self or others or gravely disabled. The Coroner’s Office also investigates and collects evidence on all sexual assaults cases reported to law enforcement agencies. To see more information on these services please select that service under the resources menu.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. What is a Coroner and what does the Coroner’s Office do?
In most Parishes, the Coroner is a Physician licensed by the Louisiana State Board of Medical Examiners to practice medicine in the state of Louisiana and is an elected official who serves a term of 4 years. The Caddo Parish Coroner’s Office is an independent agency funded by the Parish of Caddo and the City of Shreveport. The duties of the Coroner and the Coroner’s Office are as follows:

  • Perform medicolegal examinations and autopsies, conducting preliminary examinations of the body to identify victims, locate signs of trauma, and identify factors that would indicate time of death and cause of death.
  • Inquire into the cause, manner, and circumstances of human deaths and establish the identities of deceased persons.
  • Direct activities of workers who conduct autopsies, perform pathological and toxicological analyses, and prepare documents for permanent records.
  • Complete death certificates, including the assignment of cause and manner of death.
  • Observe and record the positions and conditions of bodies and related evidence.
  • Collect and document any pertinent medical history information.
  • Observe, record, collect and preserve any objects, evidence or personal property related to deaths.
  • Complete reports and forms required to finalize cases.
  • Remove or supervise removal of the deceased bodies, using the proper equipment and supplies, and arrange for transportation to the proper facility.
  • Interview persons present at death scenes to obtain information useful in determining the manner of death
  • The coroner issues emergency certificates, and/or orders of protective custody on those in need of immediate medical treatment because he/she is dangerous to self or others or gravely disabled.
  • The coroner also investigates and collects evidence on all sexual assault cases reported to local law enforcement agencies.
2. Does the coroner handle all deaths?
No. The Coroner shall either view the body or make an investigation into the cause and manner of death of reported cases.
3. Where are you located?
We are located at 2900 N Hearne Avenue in Shreveport, Louisiana, across from Willis Knighton North Emergency Entrance.
4. What are your hours of operation?
We operate 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. There is an investigator on call at all times. Our Administrative office is open from 8:00am until 4:30pm Monday through Friday and is closed for all Holidays. Our answering service is available at all times to contact an investigator for you.
5. How do I have someone committed?
The Caddo Parish Coroners Office does not issue commitment papers. The CPCO issues an Order of Protective Custody (OPC) based on the strict conditions of the LA Revised Statues. In order to have an OPC written a petitioner must come to the Coroner’s Office to fill out the proper paperwork (Request for an Order of Protective Custody “OPC”) and speak with an investigator and based on the information you provide, the investigator will determine whether or not the person meets the criteria for issuance of an OPC. The person filling out the Request for an Order of Protective Custody must be a credible witness and one who has seen or heard, first hand, what the person has said or done within the past 48 hours only. The individual must be a resident of Caddo Parish; they must not be in a hospital or incarcerated and must be located within the parish of Caddo.
6. Is my family member at your facility?
The Coroner’s Office does not house deceased persons. Depending on the circumstances surrounding the death, the decedent is either transported to the Funeral Home of the families choice or the morgue located within the hospital (if it has one). If there is an Autopsy to be performed on the decedent, he/she will be transported to the Department of Pathology at Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center. Once the Autopsy is completed, the decedent is released to the Funeral Home of the families choice.
7. Who do I need to talk to about getting an Autopsy done?
An autopsy is ordered by the Coroner of Caddo Parish if the cause of death cannot be determined by medical records or if there is a reasonable probability that the violation of a criminal statute has been contributed to the cause of death. Autopsies may also be ordered by the Coroner of Caddo Parish if the death is a result of an accident or if the manner of death is considered to be a public health risk. All infants under the age of one year who die unexpectedly without explanation may also have an Autopsy performed. If the family of a deceased person wishes to have an Autopsy performed on the deceased person, the family must speak with the attending physician of the deceased person and request a Private Autopsy. A Private Autopsy can be performed by a pathologist and full financial responsibility will be the families.
8. How much does an autopsy cost?
If an Autopsy is ordered by the Coroner of Caddo Parish, the autopsy and toxicology report will be performed at no cost to the family. If the Autopsy is not ordered by the Coroner of Caddo Parish and the family of the deceased requests that an Autopsy be performed, they must contact the deceased persons Attending Physician and make arrangements. Cost of a Private Autopsy is strictly up to the Pathologist hired by the family.
9. Who can have a copy of an autopsy report?
One copy of the Final Autopsy/Toxicology Report may be obtained upon written request and of no charge by the deceased persons legal immediate next of kin, or person in charge of the deceased persons final disposition. The Caddo Coroners Office will also issue a copy at no charge to the appropriate law enforcement agencies as requested. There is a fee for a copy of an Autopsy/Toxicology Report for Attorney’s Offices and Insurance Companies. Anyone who wishes to receive a copy of an Autopsy/Toxicology Report must fill out an Autopsy and Toxicology Report Request Form and provide a copy of their photo identification. Please see Request for Autopsy Report.
10. Where do I get a Death Certificate?
We are not the custodian of Death Certificates. If the person whose death certificate you are inquiring about has passed away recently, you need to contact the funeral home with whom the arrangements were made to request copies of the death certificate. If the person you are inquiring about did not pass away recently and you are in need of a death certificate for a personal reason, please contact the office of Vital Records at 318-676-5201.
11. How can I get my family member released to a funeral home?
Once the next of kin has decided on a funeral home, they must notify the Coroner’s Office Investigator that worked the case. The Investigator will then notify the proper facility in which the deceased is being held and have them released to the Funeral Home of the families choice.
12. My family member has died, what do I do next?
Contact a funeral home. The funeral home staff will help you with the steps that you need to take. Once you have decided on a funeral home, contact the Coroner’s Office and let the Investigator that is working the case know which funeral home you have chosen to expedite the release of the decedent.
13. What do I do if I cannot afford to pay for a service, burial, or cremation?
Funeral Homes are willing to work with families in this type of situation. Contact a funeral home and explain your situation to them. The Caddo Parish Coroner’s Office does not have funds set aside to pay for burial services.
14. How can I find out if someone has died?
Not all deaths in the Parish are reported as Coroner’s Cases. Refer to Question #2 to see what deaths are considered to be Coroner’s Cases) The deaths that are reported to the Coroner’s office are not subject to the Public Information Act, therefore we do not release any information. You may contact the family or friends of the possibly deceased person in question to obtain any information related to them.
15. How long does it take to get an Autopsy report?
Autopsy Results take approximately 4-6 weeks to finalize. We cannot release results until we receive the final report from the Pathologist.
16. How long does it take to get a Death Certificate?
The Coroners office is not the custodian for Death Certificates. The Funeral Home is responsible for getting you a copy of a Death Certificate.
17. What do I do if I have not received a copy of a death certificate and I need to prove that someone is deceased?
The Coroners office can provide the family of the deceased with a Proof of Death Letter. This letter will serve as proof of death until the original death certificate can be obtained. Although this is a document issued by the Coroners office, some places may not accept it as a Proof of Death and may wish to wait until you receive an actual Death Certificate.
18. How do I get personal items belonging to my deceased family member?
The legal next of kin can contact the Investigator that is handling the case and set up a time to come into the office and pick up the belongings.

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