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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

  • What types of deaths are investigated by the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner?
    The types of deaths investigated by the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner are listed in Title 29, Section 4706 of the Delaware Code:
    "When any person shall die in this State, as a result of violence, by suicide or by casualty if such occurred not longer than 1 year and 1 day prior to death, while under anesthesia, by abortion or suspected abortion, by poison or suspicion of poison or suddenly when in apparent health or when unattended by a physician or in any prison or penal institution or when in police custody or from a disease resulting from employment including disease related to injury or from an undiagnosed cause which may be related to a disease constituting a threat to public health or in any suspicious or unusual manner or if there is any unclaimed body or if any body is to be cremated, it shall be the duty of the person having knowledge of such death or of the person issuing a permit for cremation under Section 3162 of Title 16 immediately to notify the Chief Medical Examiner, an Assistant Medical Examiner or a Deputy Medical Examiner, as the case may be, who in turn shall notify the Attorney General of the known facts concerning the time, place, manner and circumstances of such death. Any person who shall willfully neglect or refuse to report such death or who shall refuse to make available prior medical or other information pertinent to the death investigation or who, without an order from the office of the Chief Medical Examiner, shall willfully touch, remove or disturb the clothing or any article upon or near the body shall upon conviction be subject to imprisonment for not more than 1 year or pay a fine of not more than $1,000, or both."
  • How do I obtain a death certificate?
    Individual death certificates can be obtained from the Office of Vital Statistics.
  • Can I do a student internship at the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner?
    The Office of the Chief Medical Examiner is not a teaching facility but occasionally allows student volunteers with a demonstrated interest in the forensic sciences to perform college or graduate level internships.

    To be considered for a student internship a cover letter, resume and unofficial school transcript(s) should be sent to:

    Richard T. Callery, M.D., F.C.A.P.
    Chief Medical Examiner
    Office of the Chief Medical Examiner
    200 South Adams Street
    Wilmington, DE 19801

    The cover letter must indicate the dates for which you would like to intern.
  • How can I obtain a copy of an examination report?
    For a copy of an examination report you need to send a request in writing.  Include the name of the deceased, their date of death, your name, and the address where you would like the report sent.  Also include your relationship to the decedent.  Send the request to:

    200 S. Adams Street
    Wilmington, DE 19801
  • Is there a fee for copies of examination reports?
    No.  The Medical Examiner's Office does not charge for copies of our postmortem examination or toxicology reports.
Last Updated: Friday January 16 2009
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