1. The morgue is commonly referred to as the holding location for dead bodies prior to autopsy or release to the next of kin. The mortuary is the business establishment where the bodies are prepared for burial.

  2. A survey of agencies affiliated with the American Board of Medicolegal Death investigators provided the following results:
    Civilian vs Law Enforcement classifications: 77% of responders classified their medicolegal death investigators as civilian employees (N=23). Only 23% classified death investigators as law enforcement positions (N=7);
    Previous Experience in Law Enforcement: 47% hired employees with previous law enforcement experience (N=14);
    Medical Experience as a job requirement: 37% hired employees with previous medical experience (N=11);
    Previous MDI Experience as a job requirement: 10% hired employees with previous MDI experience (N=2);
    Education Requirement: 53% hired employees with at least a 4-year Bachelor's Degree in either criminal justice or the physical sciences (N=16); 13% hired employees with at least a 2-year Associate Degree (N=4); and 33% hired employees with a high school diploma or a GED equivalent diploma.
    Education and previous work experience vary greatly, depending on budget restraints, case loads and geographic dynamics. Medical examiners and coroners often require either a combination of college training or previous law enforcement background with emphasis on crime scene investigation. Some high population geographic areas with heavy case loads will also require medical backgrounds such as Emergency Medical Technician (EMT), Paramedic, Registered Nurse (RN), or Physicians Assistant (PA).

    The following questions of ABMDI members via E-mail questions were submitted in March 2008. Thirty agencies representing 15 states and the District of Columbia responded to a questionnaire. The questions asked were:

    Are your MDI employees classified as law enforcement or civilian personnel?
    If the employees are classified as Law Enforcement, what is the authority statute?
    Is registration or certification with ABMDI required as a condition of employment?
    What are the minimum educational requirements for the position of MDI?
    What are the minimum job-related experience requirements for the position of MDI?
  3. In many jurisdictions an autopsy is mandated for certain types of death. These include any suspected homicides, unexpected deaths where there is no medical history and the age of the decedent is not consistent with death and where Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (S.I.D.S.) is suspected. The requirement for autopsy may depend on local or state statute as defined by the legislature.