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Report: Fatal shooting on Jackson Avenue misidentified as accidental overdose

6 months 4 days 15 hours ago Thursday, January 02 2020 Jan 2, 2020 January 02, 2020 11:00 PM January 02, 2020 in News
Source: The Advocate

UPDATE: Police have made an arrest in the shooting of Joah Ross. More details here: https://www.wbrz.com/news/arrest-made-in-new-year-s-day-murder-that-was-misidentified-as-drug-overdose-131682

BATON ROUGE - The family of a man found dead on New Years' night is concerned after their loved one's death was incorrectly assumed an accidental drug overdose when it was a homicide. 

According to The Advocate, detectives overlooked 26-year-old Joah Ross's gunshot wound when he was found dead in his home on Jackson Avenue. 

The funeral home workers were the ones that noticed the mistake while prepping the body. Then the coroner's office immediately retracted performing an autopsy and an investigation. 

But the family is worried about the investigation. 

"Somebody's got to be held accountable," his sister Jamie Edwards told The Advocate Saturday. "That one mistake could be what turns this into a cold case while my brother's killer goes free."

Officials reported 26-year-old Joah Ross dead after his mother found him unresponsive at his home off Plank Road and Fairfields Avenue. 

Police along with the coroner's office declared the death an overdose due to the fact the drugs were found in the room but did not specify the type of drugs. A homicide investigation was later launched once the gunshot wound was discovered. 

According to the Advocate, Ross had a long history of drug possession. 

Police stated Friday that Ross died from a gunshot wound to the torso, but said it was unclear when the gunfire occurred. 

The family reported that blood was everywhere when Ross's body was found. Shane Evans, chief of investigations for the East Baton Rouge Coroner's Office, didn't comment specifics of this investigation but noted that it's not uncommon to find blood at an overdose scene because there's often some discharge from the person's nose and mouth. 

WBRZ reached out to the Coroner's Office about the death they report that it's still under investigation.

"It is still under investigation and pending studies-toxicology and histology. I have not ruled a cause or manner of death yet. This is an ongoing investigation," Coroner Beau Clark said.

Anyone with information related to the fatal shooting is urged to contact the Violent Crimes Unit at (225) 389-4869 or Crime Stoppers at (225) 344-7867.

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