Police believed dead man overdosed until funeral home workers discover bullet wound

Published 10:36 am Monday, January 6, 2020

A Louisiana man who detectives said died of an accidental drug overdose may have been fatally shot.

Joah Ross, 26, was found dead in a Baton Rouge home on New Year’s Day, news outlets reported.

Authorities initially declared the death an overdose, The Advocate reported. Officials with the police department and coroner’s office told the newspaper drugs were found in the room where Ross died. It’s unclear what kind of drugs were found.

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Funeral workers later discovered a gunshot wound, the newspaper reported. The body was sent to the East Baton Rouge Coroner’s Office for an autopsy, according to chief of investigations Shane Evans. He also said the coroner’s office carried out an internal investigation, but didn’t reveal the outcome.

“Somebody’s got to be held accountable,” Ross’ sister Jamie Edwards said. “That one mistake could be what turns this into a cold case while my brother’s killer goes free.”

Detectives returned to the home to collect evidence the day after the discovery, but family members told The Advocate that blood had been wiped up and furniture rearranged in the home following the death.

Ross had a history of drug possession, The Advocate reported citing court documents. But family members said they don’t believe he struggled with addiction.

Baton Rouge police said in a news release Friday that Ross had been shot. It said a motive and suspects were unknown.