NATCHITOCHES PARISH, La. (KTAL/KMSS) – The Natchitoches Parish Sheriff’s Office reported Monday that an archaeological worker for Shreveport Cultural Resource Analysts died from a possible heat stroke.
Kaylen Gehrke of Longview, Texas, conducted an archaeological survey with two co-workers when she became ill around 2:14 p.m. Monday. First responders located the group on Forest Service Road #321 Bayou Camp Road off of the Longleaf Vista in Kisatchie National Forest. Her co-workers were performing CPR until help could arrive.
EMS attempted to revive her, but Gehrke died at the scene. Natchitoches Parish Coroner Asst. Coroner Steven Clanton says there were no apparent signs of foul play, and he believes her death may be heat-related. Her body will be transported to Shreveport for an autopsy.
Monday was reportedly Gehrke’s first day on the job.
The National Weather Service reported temperature for Natchitoches was 98 degrees with a heat index of over 107 degrees at the time of her death. Natchitoches Parish has been under several continuous heat advisories.
Deputies and the NWS warn that heat-related illnesses are one of the leading causes of death and request the public drink plenty of fluids, stay in air-conditioned rooms, stay out of the sun, and check on relatives and neighbors. They also warn young children and pets should never be left unattended in vehicles under any circumstances.