Preliminary Death Investigation

Preliminary Death Investigation

Policy Center Resource

Reported deaths of persons, other than those under the immediate care of a physician at a hospital or similar health care facility, should be responded to by law enforcement officers for investigation and for purposes of providing basic assistance to survivors. It is the responsibility of responding officers in cooperation with homicide investigators, emergency medical responders, physicians, and the medical examiner to establish the manner of death whether naturally, by accident, suicide, homicide, or unknown causes. In so doing, officers should approach the investigation of any death that is not attended by a physician in a health care setting as a potential homicide, regardless of how it is reported, and should follow procedures as detailed in agency policy to assist in determining the cause and manner of death.

These documents provide initial responding officers with guidelines for conducting preliminary investigations of deceased persons.

This topic has been archived - it is intended for reference purposes only and will not be updated.

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