The goal of the Medical Examiner's Office is to serve Douglas County Law Enforcement Agencies, the District Attorney's Office, the medical community and family members with the investigation of sudden, unexpected, unexplained deaths. This includes deaths of suspicious and violent natures.
Types of Investigations
The Medical Examiner's Office investigates deaths that occur in Douglas County that are of concern to the public's safety, health and its welfare. As per ORS 146, this office investigates deaths that fall under one or more of the following categories:
- Those deaths that are apparently homicidal, suicidal, or occurring under suspicious or unknown circumstances
- Resulting from the unlawful use of controlled substances or the use or abuse of chemicals or toxic agents.
- Occurring while incarcerated in the Douglas County Jail or while in the custody of a law enforcement officer
- Apparently accidental or following an injury.
- By disease, injury or toxic agent during or arising from employment.
- While not under the care of a physician during the period immediately preceding the death.
- Related to disease which might constitute a threat to the health of the general public.
- In which human remains have been disposed of in an offensive manner.
- All persons under the age of 18.
Solving a Crime
Based upon evidence obtained, the Medical Examiner's Office makes every attempt to accurately determine positive identity of the decedent(s) and the circumstances leading up to death, by means of thorough detailed investigations. With the assistance of local hospital facilities and the Oregon State Police Forensic Crime Laboratory, modern medical and forensic science is applied to the death investigation by expertly trained technical staff.
Working With Other Teams
While there is always cooperative interaction with several other county and municipal agencies, the Medical Examiner's Office provides for an independent assessment of each individual death.