Medical examiners are often involved in criminal investigations, including ones where dead bodies have been uncovered.
MEs will arrive to the scene to externally examine a body and help law enforcement uncover evidence.
Then, an autopsy is commonly performed, where the ME will closely examine internal structures to confirm cause of death.
Medical examiners are often called to crime scenes to observe a person's remains to determine how they have died.
Medical examiners - also known as MEs - are doctors who are specially trained to perform autopsies and help in death investigations.
Once a ME arrives at the scene, they start by evaluating the remains and the circumstances that led to this person's death, according to the District 12 Examiner's Office website - which recently assisted at a Florida park where possible human remains were found in the search for Brian Laundrie.
The ME looks at the entire outside of the body including clothing and personal items. In a criminal case, the ME also works closely with law enforcement to gather evidence.
After the initial examination, an autopsy is typically performed. This is when the medical examiner examines the inside of the body to determine the cause of death. Toxicology reports are run, and bodily tissues and fluids are tested.
Once the autopsy is complete, bodies are usually ready for release on the same day, according to the District 12 office. In some cases - like if the body has yet to be identified - the body would be held by the medical examiners's office until the person's identity could be determined.
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