The Medical Examiner is a licensed physician with Pathologic Forensic Training. The Medical Examiner has one primary responsibility to investigate the deaths of persons in which there is reason to suspect foul play or in which the cause of death is not readily apparent, such as a person who has died suddenly, unexpectedly, violently or as a result of any suspicious circumstances.
The Medical Examiner must also investigate all deaths of County prisoners and any woman who has died from an abortion. The Examiner also directs the autopsy and prepares a written report on the facts and circumstances relating to the probable cause of death. Once the medical investigation has been completed, the Examiner may ask that the District Judge conduct an inquest, and is required to testify for the State if proceedings so require.
The Medical Examiner is also responsible for the inventory of any personal possessions on a body coming under their control and to turn over the items to the appropriate representatives of the estate. In addition, the County has several deputy medical examiners who are also licensed physicians, and can perform all the functions of the Medical Examiner in his/her absence.