Coroner’s employee pawns office camera with photos of corpses, police say

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NEW ORLEANS — An Orleans Parish Coroner’s Office investigator was arrested after he allegedly pawned a city-owned camera that included a memory card filled with photographs of corpses.

Thomas Evans, 37, was booked on counts of theft, abuse of public office and obstruction of justice and was fired from his post after the arrest, authorities said.

Police said Evans first pawned the camera on Nov. 6, 2017, for $100. He returned two days later to get it back.

On Nov. 16, 2017, Evans once again allegedly pawned the camera, a lens and bag for $200. In that instance, police said, the camera included a memory card with the photographs, which they described as “possible evidentiary value.”

An employee at the Cash America location at 3501 Gentilly Blvd. called a New Orleans police detective to report the store took in a camera with a memory card that had “multiple crime scene photos” of dead people, according to court documents.

Detective Marsha Heirsch and another detective on Wednesday arrested Evans at the Orleans Parish Coroner’s Office headquarters on Earhart Boulevard.

Evans waived his right to remain silent and confessed to pawning the camera, Heirsch wrote. It was not clear from police documents if he said why he pawned the gear.

Evans, who previously worked as a paramedic for New Orleans Emergency Medical Services, might be recognizable from his appearances on the A&E reality series “Nightwatch,” which followed local first responders.

Evans also had a stint as an investigator in the Jefferson Parish Coroner’s Office. But he resigned from that agency in 2015, coroner Dr. Gerry Cvitanovich told The New Orleans Advocate.

Attempts Thursday by WWL-TV to contact Evans were unsuccessful. His attorney, Scott Shea, did not immediately return a message seeking comment.

Evans was released on a $15,000 recognizance bond, according to court records.

New Orleans Advocate staff writer Ramon Antonio Vargas contributed to this report.

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