Frequently Asked Questions
Will an autopsy be performed?,
An autopsy will be performed when there is a need to establish or confirm a cause and manner of death for the purpose of issuing a death certificate, in cases involving criminal or suspected criminal wrongdoing, and in any case in which an autopsy is considered to be prudent at the Medical Examiner's discretion.
Will I be charged for Medical Examiner services/reports?,
There is no fee for the autopsy and the resultant medical opinion regarding cause and manner of death. One copy of the investigator's report, autopsy report, and toxicology report (when applicable) will be made available to the nearest next-of-kin at no cost, once the case is closed.
What should I do after being made aware of the death, and the involvement of the Medical Examiner?,
Select a funeral home and advise the funeral director of the involvement of the Medical Examiner's Office. Funeral directors are familiar with the operation of our office and will assist you in making all arrangements for final disposition, including obtaining the death certificate. The funeral director will also pick up the decedent's personal property that is not being held as evidence. Often the deceased will be released the next day from our facility.
When will I be able to obtain a death certificate?,
Arrangements to obtain certified copies of the death certificate are handled for the family by the funeral home. Your funeral director will be able to answer this question for you.
Note: On occasion, an exact cause or manner of death is not immediately determined following an autopsy or investigation. Special laboratory tests or further investigation may be necessary. In those situations, a pending death certificate will be filed, and later replaced with an amended death certificate once the cause and/or manner of death has been established.
How do I obtain a cremation permit?,
Your local funeral home will be able to work with our office to assist you with obtaining a cremation permit.