Thomas Evans

Thomas Evans Jr., via OPSO

A pawn shop in Gentilly got more than it bargained for when it accepted a camera recently. Pictures of corpses turned up on the pawned camera, New Orleans police said Thursday.

The grisly discovery led to the arrest of Orleans Parish Coroner's Office investigator Thomas Evans Jr., who was accused of stealing the camera from the agency and pawning it without removing a memory card loaded with crime-scene photographs.

Evans was fired following his arrest Wednesday, police said.

Years ago, Evans worked as a paramedic for New Orleans Emergency Medical Services, and he has appeared on "Nightwatch," the A&E channel's documentary series that followed local first responders.

Authorities said Evans first pawned a city-owned Nikon camera at the Cash America store in the 3500 block of Gentilly Boulevard for $100 on Nov. 6. He returned for the camera two days later.

But on Nov. 16, Evans went back to the store and pawned the camera, an attachable lens and a carry bag for $200, police said.

A Cash America representative later called police and reported that the camera contained a memory card with "multiple crime-scene photos" of dead people.

After identifying Evans and verifying where he worked, detectives went to the coroner's building on Earhart Boulevard and arrested him. According to court records, Evans waived his right to remain silent and confessed that he'd pawned the camera.

There is no indication that the discovery of the crime-scene photos compromised investigations, according to authorities.

Coroner Jeffrey Rouse fired Evans upon being notified of his arrest, police said.

Police jailed him on counts of theft, obstruction of justice and abuse of public office.

Aside from his work in New Orleans, Evans had also previously worked as an investigator for the Jefferson Parish Coroner's Office. But he resigned from that agency in 2015, Coroner Gerry Cvitanovich said.

When asked, Cvitanovich said Evans was not eligible to be hired again by that agency after he left. But he declined to elaborate, citing a policy against discussing personnel matters.

Neither Evans nor his attorney immediately responded to messages.

He was ordered released from jail Thursday morning on a $15,000 recognizance bond. 

Follow Ramon Antonio Vargas on Twitter, @RVargasAdvocate.

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