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Ponchatoula officer found dead in cruiser had suffered from significant heart issues, chief says

3 weeks 3 days 14 hours ago Wednesday, May 29 2024 May 29, 2024 May 29, 2024 1:21 PM May 29, 2024 in News
Source: WBRZ

PONCHATOULA — A Ponchatoula city police officer found dead in her patrol car had an 80 percent blockage in an artery and two additional contributing factors that led to her death, the city's police chief said Wednesday, citing autopsy results.

Cpl. Pricilla Dean Pierson had just turned 44. She was found unresponsive in her unit outside a Rouses grocery store on the west side of Ponchatoula on Tuesday morning. Foul play was not suspected, and in an interview with WBRZ Chief Bry Layrisson said Wednesday she had a number of underlying health issues. 

He told WBRZ that she had had problems with her blood pressure and had recently been given a monitor to track her heart health during her sleep.

"She did not have any previous heart issues that I'm aware of," Layrisson said in a statement he issued later Wednesday.

Funeral services have not been finalized.

“We’re going to have the largest, most significant funeral service the city has ever had,” Layrisson said. Her patrol car will be decorated with flowers and ribbons, and the funeral will include a line of duty procession, the chief said.

Bystanders noticed that Pierson's car had been parked in the Rouses parking lot on La. 22 overnight, and a store employee checked on her and found her unresponsive.

Pierson is survived by her husband Larry, three children and two step-children. Larry Pierson, a captain with the Ponchatoula Police, has been with the agency 25 years.

Ponchatoula Police will hold a news conference Thursday in front of the police station to honor her service and celebrate her life, the chief said.

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