The Pathology Department at the St. Tammany Parish Coroner’s Office is made up of a group of highly trained professionals including Forensic Pathologists and Morgue Technicians whose primary function is to determine cause and manner of death. The Pathology Department is often assisted by the Investigations Department.
Under Louisiana law, certain causes of death are deemed to be “Coroner’s Cases” and must be investigated. The Forensic Pathologist will conduct the autopsy to determine cause and manner of death. These cases referred for autopsy are generally when the decedent has no medical history to explain the death, or if the death appears to be a homicide, suicide, accident.
Death investigations can be complex in nature and require collaboration between pathologists, investigators, toxicology lab, DNA lab as well as crime scene technicians and detectives. Due to the complexity of this type of work, a determination of cause and manner of death may take several weeks to complete.