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Forensic Death Investigation

The Forensic Death Investigation Division is responsible for conducting death scene investigations including examination of the body at the location of death, inspection of the scene environment, photo-documentation of scene findings, meeting with families and/or witnesses, and collection and preservation of evidence for possible further testing. Investigations allow a collection of facts surrounding all unnatural or unexplained deaths; these facts aid the Medical Examiner in determining the cause and manner of the death. Investigations also aid in the determination of possible environmental hazards, job safety violations, consumer product dangers and public health threats. Investigations are carried out by Forensic Investigators who work collaboratively with, but independent of, law enforcement authorities, fire fighters, emergency medical responders, and physicians both at the scene and through ongoing investigative communications relative to identification of decedents, family contacts, obtaining medical and social history, and funeral home disposition. The Investigation Division is operational 24-hours a day, seven days a week including all holidays, and operates under the direct supervision of the Chief Medical Examiner.

Forensic Investigators have advanced training in forensic death investigation, and maintain continuing education in forensic sciences by regularly attending seminars, lectures, and annual conferences to stay current in the field. The OCMEO requires Forensic Investigators to become certified with the American Board of Medicolegal Death Investigators.


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