Officials gather in SWLA for Death and Bone Conference - KPLC 7 News, Lake Charles, Louisiana

Officials gather in SWLA for Death and Bone Conference

LAKE CHARLES, LA (KPLC) -

The Calcasieu Parish Coroner's Office presented some extra education for law enforcement from across the state of Louisiana Wednesday.

From sexual assault victims, to forensic anthropology. Law enforcement officers, coroners, and nurses from across Louisiana learned about that and everything in between at the first ever death and bone conference in southwest Louisiana. 

"Like anything, it's education for the investigators, for the crime scene investigators, for the coroner's office to explain what they're looking for, for the sane nurse to explain what they're looking for," said Lake Charles Police Chief Don Dixon. "Like anything, it just makes us better." 

Almost 200 attended the conference, some from as far away as Washington Parish. The goal was to educate about what different examiners and experts need and look for when dealing with criminal cases. 

"If there's some sort of a uniformity in different areas that will help provide information for people that are going to be doing postmortem examination, so if and when something should go to court, it helps them with testifying and either exonerate the person or put the bad guy in jail," said Dr. Terry Welke, Calcasieu Parish Coroner. "I think if there's uniformity among all these area, it's very helpful." 

The conference addressed cold cases, solved murders and sexual assault cases.

"Last year there was 196 assault victims in this parish, and those victims deserve a quality investigation, a quality examination, because ultimately we want to go to court with the best evidence possible," said Chief Dixon. 

Mary Manhein, from LSU's Department of Anthropology, wrapped up the conference discussing how skeletal remains are handled and identified after they're located. Chief Dixon has been in law enforcement for years, but he says there's still more to learn. 

"As Chief I read every daily report," said Chief Dixon. "I come to these things to educate myself. You're never too old to learn something, especially in the area of forensics and new techniques. Like anything, education is important. Education is power."

While this was the first of its kind in southwest Louisiana, others have been held around the state. The coroner's Chief Investigator Zeb Johnson hopes this is the first of many death and bone conferences to come to southwest Louisiana. 

Copyright 2012 KPLC. All rights reserved.

  • More Local NewsNewsMore>>

  • Looking back at Hurricane Audrey: 60-year anniversary

    Looking back at Hurricane Audrey: 60-year anniversary

    Tuesday, June 27 2017 8:35 PM EDT2017-06-28 00:35:56 GMT
    (SOURCE: KPLC)(SOURCE: KPLC)

    It's estimated between four and five hundred people perished in Hurricane Audrey which crept on shore earlier than expected about 3 a.m. June 27th in 1957.  The loss and heartbreak unimaginable for so many.   The late Rodney Guilbeaux lost seven family members including his mother.  "At a quarter to seven a humongous wave hit.  They could see it coming," he said in an interview around the year 2000.  "They knew that that was the end. ...

    More >>

    It's estimated between four and five hundred people perished in Hurricane Audrey which crept on shore earlier than expected about 3 a.m. June 27th in 1957.  The loss and heartbreak unimaginable for so many.   The late Rodney Guilbeaux lost seven family members including his mother.  "At a quarter to seven a humongous wave hit.  They could see it coming," he said in an interview around the year 2000.  "They knew that that was the end. ...

    More >>
  • BREAKING

    Lake Charles man convicted of attempted murder in beating of girlfriend

    Lake Charles man convicted of attempted murder in beating of girlfriend

    Tuesday, June 27 2017 8:33 PM EDT2017-06-28 00:33:21 GMT
    Paul Walling (Source: Calcasieu Parish Sheriff's Office)Paul Walling (Source: Calcasieu Parish Sheriff's Office)

    A Lake Charles man who beat his girlfriend repeatedly with an aluminum bat was convicted of attempted second-degree murder Tuesday. The jury took less than an hour to unanimously convict Paul Walling in the February 2016 beating. Walling struck her in the head and her upper body repeatedly, authorities said at the time. Prosecutor Charles Robinson said Walling left her to die at their trailer in LeBleu Settlement on Feb. 24, 2016. The only reason she didn't die that day is t...

    More >>

    A Lake Charles man who beat his girlfriend repeatedly with an aluminum bat was convicted of attempted second-degree murder Tuesday. The jury took less than an hour to unanimously convict Paul Walling in the February 2016 beating. Walling struck her in the head and her upper body repeatedly, authorities said at the time. Prosecutor Charles Robinson said Walling left her to die at their trailer in LeBleu Settlement on Feb. 24, 2016. The only reason she didn't die that day is t...

    More >>
  • The Human Library comes to Iowa Library

    The Human Library comes to Iowa Library

    Tuesday, June 27 2017 8:23 PM EDT2017-06-28 00:23:23 GMT

    Instead of checking out books, residents in Southwest Louisiana had the chance to check out people Tuesday. The way the Human Library works, instead of actually reading, you have real people sharing real their life stories.to share their real life stories.  In a time where the country sees division on political and social issues, the human library allows everyone to share their perspectives and experiences. Chyenne Bertrand is one of the Librarians, and it was her idea to b...

    More >>

    Instead of checking out books, residents in Southwest Louisiana had the chance to check out people Tuesday. The way the Human Library works, instead of actually reading, you have real people sharing real their life stories.to share their real life stories.  In a time where the country sees division on political and social issues, the human library allows everyone to share their perspectives and experiences. Chyenne Bertrand is one of the Librarians, and it was her idea to b...

    More >>
Powered by Frankly