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  Investigative Overview  
Whenever a death occurs under circumstances which raise the public's interest, it needs to be investigated and explained, as well as the cause and manner of death determined. Tremendous importance should be placed in the proper steps and procedures taken at the scene of a death. How a death investigation is handled at these crucial initial stages, may later affect the administration of justice and future criminal proceedings, the adjudication of estates, and certification of death.

At both Regional Medical Examiner's Offices, (Northern RMEO & Southern RMEO), the men and women first on the scene from our staff are the members of the Medicolegal Death Investigations Section. The Medicolegal Death Investigators at the Northern and Southern RMEOs work closely with local, county and state law enforcement officials. While at scenes the Medicolegal Death Investigator attempts to identify the recently deceased, examine their medical records and photograph both the scene and the deceased. The conclusions and findings of the Medicolegal Death Investigators are reviewed and shared with one of our Medical Examiners. Then it is determined if a case will be brought in for an external examination or complete autopsy. The Medicolegal Death Investigations Section of the Northern RMEO office responds to the counties of Essex, Hudson, Passaic, & Somerset. The Southern RMEO Medicolegal Death Investigations Section reponds to the counties of Atlantic, Cumberland and Cape May. Both operates 24hrs a day, 365 days per year. Our current staff of Medicolegal Death Investigators bring with them a unique background and area of expertise. Some our investigator’s backgrounds include specialities in the areas of: forensic anthropology, emergency medical services, mortuary services and nursing. Many of our Investigators are also registered members with The American Board of Medicolegal Death Investigators (ABMDI).

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