LIVINGSTON, La. (AP) - Elected officials in Livingston Parish are calling for the parish to establish a morgue after a fetus important to a criminal case was cremated before an autopsy could be performed.
In the meantime, Coroner Dr. Ron Coe tells The Advocate (http://bit.ly/RqA4qz ) he has arranged to use Tangipahoa Parish's morgue, rather than placing bodies with a private funeral home.
Coe said he has been trying for years to get a morgue for Livingston.
District Attorney Scott Perrilloux said he, too, thinks the parish needs a morgue in which to store bodies in criminal cases until autopsies can be conducted.
Accidental cremation of a fetus that was cut from the womb of its mother last week voids the possibility of prosecuting the suspect in the case on a murder count, Perrilloux said.
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Authorities say the fetus cut from a woman's womb during an attack on the mother this week was cremated accidentally prior to a scheduled autopsy.
Livingston Parish District Attorney Scott Perrilloux said that voids the possibility of upgrading the feticide count to one of murder. Previously, Perrilloux had said that if evidence showed that the fetus had begun to breathe before it was killed, that the feticide count might be upgraded to murder.
However, Perrilloux said he believes the current counts against the suspect in the case can still be prosecuted.
Jeffery Reynolds, of Walker, was booked Tuesday on counts of first-degree feticide and the attempted second-degree murder of his 28-year-old wife, who remained in critical but stable condition.
It was unclear whether Reynolds has an attorney.