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Office of the Medical Examiner

Our Mission:

The mission of the Saint Louis County Medical Examiner's Office is to determine the cause and manner of death in all sudden, violent and suspicious deaths occurring in Saint Louis County and to disseminate the investigative, autopsy and toxicological results as warranted.

The Medical Examiner’s Office is committed to responding to the needs of the community and contributing to the wellbeing and safety of the citizens of St. Louis County by being the first alert to deaths that have been caused by violence, hazards, dangers, and infectious diseases.

“We strive to sustain a spirit of service and commitment which results in the highest level of satisfaction possible for employees, families and the public.”

 Mary E. Case, MD
Chief Medical Examiner

 

The Chief Medical Examiner is a board certified forensic pathologist who is appointed by the Director of the Department of Health to investigate sudden, unexpected, suspicious, unnatural or violent deaths. The Medical Examiner serves the community by utilizing the knowledge of forensic science and medicine to investigate deaths that constitute a concern to the public health and safety. Surviving family, friends, and the public have the assurance that a thorough and accurate investigation has been conducted.

Accurate determination of cause and manner of death in the deaths of concern to the public are essential for a variety of reasons, including the proper administration of justice, by identifying murders and exonerating the innocent; recognizing and maintaining evidence for use in criminal and civil proceedings; recognizing epidemic threats to the public health; recognizing defective materials, structures or products; detecting dangerous occupational environments; establishing causes of death in cases of therapeutic intervention; and ensuring that law enforcement officials do not engage in or be unjustly accused of brutality. A complete medicolegal investigation provides for the expeditious settlement of insurance claims and estates.

The Medical Examiner’s Office is committed to providing forensic education to public agencies, healthcare facilities, law enforcement, and other forensic professionals. This division is closely aligned with St. Louis University’s Division of Forensic Pathology, governmental agencies that analyze and disseminate information critical to public health and safety, and organizations that support and promote advances in forensic sciences. The Office of the Medical Examiner plays a key role in planning for and responding to natural disasters and potential terrorism.

Personnel of the Medical Examiner’s Office consist of Assistant Medical Examiners who assist the Chief and have similar qualifications as the Chief, medicolegal death investigators, autopsy assistants, toxicology personnel, administrative and support staff

 

The Gantner Building is near I-170 and Airport Road.
The Gantner Building is near I-170 and Airport Road

Contacts:
Business Hours:  8 am - 5 pm, Mon - Fri
Address:  George Gantner Building
6039 Helen Avenue
St. Louis, Missouri 63134
Phone:  314-522-3262
Fax:  314-522-0955
TTY:  314-615-8428
Death Reporting Line:  314-522-1028
On the Web:   www.stlouisco.com/doh/medexam/medexam.html

 

Documents in pdf format:

'How to request a copy of a report'
(from the brochure Family Information)

Medical Examiner Policies and Procedures for Reportable Deaths


For related information ON our site:

  Death Certificate Information:  
  DOH Vital Records....................................314-615-1684


For related information OFF our site:

Other information, services and resources:


Toxicology:
St. Louis University, renowned for its medical school and medical center, responds to the need for drug and alcohol testing with a superior laboratory. The St. Louis University Forensic Toxicology Laboratory provides on-site drug and alcohol testing for the St. Louis County Medical Examiner’s Office, and serves medical, legal and business professionals throughout the United States.

For further information, contact Christopher Long, Ph.D., DABFT, Director of Forensic & Environmental Toxicology Laboratories, at 314-522-3262, extension 6520.

Forensic education and career information:
The professional staff of the Medical Examiner’s Office provides forensic training to public agencies, law enforcement, healthcare facilities and other professionals. The Medical Examiner’s Office supports and provides leadership to professional organizations that advance, and encourage careers in, the forensic sciences.

Helpful career information can be found at:

A step-by-step demonstration of what happens during an autopsy procedure is available at:

The Division of Forensic and Environmental Pathology of St. Louis University School of Medicine offers a five-day program designed to teach individuals how to conduct scientific systematic and thorough death scene and telephone investigations for medical examiner and coroner offices.

Organ donation:
The Medical Examiner’s Office works closely with families and Mid-America Transplant Services to encourage and facilitate organ and tissue donation whenever possible.


Emergency preparedness:
The Office of the Medical Examiner plays a key role in planning for and responding to natural disasters and potential terrorism.

Grief and mourning:
The Office of the Medical Examiner works closely with appropriate organizations to provide support and education to surviving family and friends.

Information regarding leading causes of death and prevention:

Natural cause:
Cardiovascular disease accounts for the greatest proportion of natural cause deaths. There is a strong link between cardiovascular disease and diabetes.

Motor Vehicle Accidents:
Motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of unintentional injury death.

Non-traffic injury:
Injuries are the leading cause of death among children in the United States.

Infants, children, and youth:
Sudden Unexpected Infant Deaths/Safe sleep for infants:
Unsafe sleep arrangements have been identified as a risk factor in the vast majority of sudden, unexpected infant deaths.

Child abuse:
Child fatalities are the most tragic consequence of child abuse and neglect. The most common mechanism of child abuse fatalities in the United States is abusive head trauma or Shaken Baby Syndrome.


Suicide:
In the United States, suicide is the third leading cause of injury-related deaths among young people.


Research, History and Genealogy:


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