Caddo Parish Coroner's Office

FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. What is a Coroner and what does the Coroner’s Office do?
  2. Does the coroner investigate all deaths?
    • No. The Coroner investigates the cause and manner of death only for cases which Louisiana law mandates should be reported to the coroner. (RS 13:5713)
  3. How do I have someone committed?
    • The Caddo Coroner’s Office may issue an Order of Protective Custody (OPC) to have an individual transported to a hospital for psychiatric evaluation. Due to the strict conditions of Louisiana law and the severity of such an order, Caddo Coroner’s Office will not issue this paperwork over the phone. If you believe someone is in need of such an order, you must fill out a formal request and be interviewed by an investigator. Filling out a request with our office does not guarantee the OPC will be issued. An individual requesting an OPC should have attempted other reasonable efforts to get the individual to a hospital before resorting to the coroner’s office.
  4. How do I get an autopsy ordered?
    • An autopsy is ordered by the coroner if the cause of death cannot be determined or if there is a probability a crime caused the death. If the coroner does not order an autopsy, the family may locate a pathologist to perform a private autopsy at the family’s expense.
  5. How much does an autopsy cost?
    • If the autopsy is ordered by the Coroner of Caddo Parish, the autopsy will be performed at no cost to the family. If the family orders a private autopsy, the cost will be determined by the private pathologist performing the autopsy.
  6. How can I obtain a copy of the autopsy report?
    • If Caddo Coroner orders an autopsy, one copy of the final Autopsy/Toxicology Report will be released at no charge to the legal next of kin.
  7. How long does it take for the Autopsy Report to be completed?
    • The autopsy report takes approximately 4-6 weeks for completion. This is due to extensive examinations and tests performed.
  8. Is my family member’s body at your office?
    • The Caddo Coroner’s Office does not have an onsite morgue. If an autopsy was performed, the body was taken to our offsite morgue. Upon completion of autopsy, the body will be released to the funeral home of family choice. If no autopsy was performed, the body was most likely picked up from the hospital or residence by the funeral home instead of the coroner’s office.
  9. How do 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 which funeral home their loved one’s body should be released to.
  10. Can Caddo Coroner’s Office recommend a funeral home?
    • While Caddo Coroner’s Office must work closely with funeral homes in order to see proper care of the deceased, the coroner’s office is not affiliated directly with any funeral home and is unable to make recommendations of funeral homes to families. Our website does have a list of local Funeral Homes in the Resources tab to make searching easier for families.
  11. Where do I get a Death Certificate?
    • The coroner’s office does not generate death certificates. The funeral home generates the death certificate and the coroner completes the cause and manner of death portion of that certificate. You will need to contact the funeral home to obtain a copy of the death certificate. If the death was not recent, you may need to contact the Vital Records office for the death certificate. (Vital Records: 318-676-5201)
  12. What if I cannot afford to pay for a service, burial, or cremation?
    • Many 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 manage burial services.
  13. What if I am waiting on a copy of a death certificate, but I need to prove that someone is deceased?
    • The Coroner’s office can provide the family of the deceased with a Proof of Death Letter. Some institutions will accept this as proof of the death while waiting for the actual Death Certificate.
  14. How do I get personal items belonging to my deceased family member?
    • The legal next of kin can contact the coroner’s office to confirm if our office collected any personal items.  If so, a time can be set up for you to come into the office and pick up the belongings.
  15. How do I become a death investigator or coroner investigator?
    • Most coroner’s offices require an individual to have some background in law enforcement or the medical field and to become certified with the American Board of Medicolegal Death Investigators (ABMDI) while training. However, there are no current standard national requirements to become a death investigator.

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