Death Investigation
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Medicolegal Death Investigation

The Marion County Coroner's Office performs about 1500 death investigations annually in accordance with nationally recognized standards. The various types of investigation include:
Autopsy: Autopsy performed by a Forensic Pathologist
External: Body taken into custody. Only external examination performed
SOS: Scene Sign-Outs i.e. Body released at scene to next of kin
Consults: The office is notified of death, but case is declined due to not fitting Coroner's criteria

The various steps involved in the process of death investigation are as follows: 
Death Scene Investigation by the Deputy Coroner: The Coroner will gather scene information, take photographs and arrange for removal of the body from the scene. The family should contact the funeral home at the earliest for funeral services. The funeral home then initiates the death certificate, which is then electronically received by our office through the Indiana Death Registration System.

Post-Mortem Examination: The decedent's body is physically examined by a certified forensic pathologist who may perform a full autopsy on the body as necessary. Body fluids/tissues may also be sent for lab analysis such as toxicology and histology. Following the examination, the body is made available for pick-up by the funeral home. A comprehensive pathology report will be generated by the forensic pathologist identifying the cause and manner of death.  

Death Certification: The Coroner's office will review the findings and certify the cause and manner of death in the death certificate. The family may then obtain the death certificate from the Marion County Health Department (Vital Records).

The Manner of Death can be: Natural | Accident | Suicide | Homicide | Undetermined

Most cases that are investigated by the Coroner's office are reviewed and closed within 14-21 days. If a case is pending toxicology or microscopic examination, a cause and manner of death could take up to 8 weeks for final results. Please feel free to contact our office through this website or over phone, if you have any further questions.