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Common Questions & Answers
 
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How to request an autopsy report
All autopsy reports must be requested via an official Pinal County Medical Examiner Report Request form. This form is available on our website. If you are not able to print the form, please contact our office to have one mailed to you.
 
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What if my family objects to an autopsy or wants an autopsy?
While the final decision whether or not to perform an autopsy is determined by the County Medical Examiner, family wishes are taken into consideration whenever possible. Please make your wishes known, but understand that the Medical Examiner must determine what to do using their experience and following legal requirements of the State and Federal government. Not everyone who is examined is autopsied.
 
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How long will it take to get the autopsy report?
An autopsy report generally takes 6-8 weeks (depending on the nature of the case, it can vary) to generate. After the autopsy is performed, most cases will require additional testing, which can take several weeks to get the results. The Medical Examiner then reviews the results of the testing, any medical history and/or information that might contribute to the death investigation and findings from the autopsy on order to issue a report.
 
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Where are my loved one’s belongings?
The Medical Examiner’s office only receives what the decedent was wearing at the time they died and may collect medications found at the scene. The law enforcement agency that responded and issued the report of death would be able report on any property that was with the decedent but not immediately on their body. The Medical Examiner documents the articles of clothing, jewelry, and whatever might be contained in the pockets of the clothing (money, credit cards, etc.) and releases these items to the funeral home at the time your loved one’s care is transferred there. Medications, if any, will be disposed of properly.
 
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What if an agency calls to report a death?
There is a 24/7 phone number for law enforcement agencies only to report deaths to the Medical Examiner’s Office. If anyone other than a law enforcement agency calls to report a death, they must report it to their local law enforcement agency.
 
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My loved one passed away and was taken to the Medical Examiner’s facility. What do I do now?
Choose a mortuary (see list of mortuaries in Pinal County) and let them know that your loved one is at our facility. The mortuary will contact our office and arrangements will be made to transfer your loved one’s care to them after our examination is complete. They will make you aware of the timeframe, as arrangements for each case are unique.)
 
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What if I cannot afford to bury or cremate my loved one?
The Pinal County Public Fiduciary's Office manages an Indigent Burial Program.  For further information and qualification requirements, please telephone 520-866-7252 and ask to speak to someone about the Indigent Burial Program.
 
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Is it necessary for me to identify my family member at the Medical Examiner’s Office (MEO)?
No. In the vast majority of cases, identification is confirmed prior to the arrival of the deceased at MEO.  An immediate family member may make a written or electronic request for an identification meeting, at which will be conducted the viewing of photographs of the decedent or any distinguishing marks of the decedent or any information that may assist the immediate family in establishing or confirming identity. Identification meetings will occur within 48 hours, excluding weekends and legal holidays. (ARS 11-597.01)
 
Medical Examiner
Pinal County
Medical Examiner
570 W. Adamsville Rd.
Florence, AZ 85132

Office: 520.866.7260
Fax:    520.866.7296
Email Examiner