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Medical Examiner's Office

Medicolegal death investigators investigate all sudden or unexpected deaths within the jurisdiction of Washington County.

The state of Oregon utilizes a Medical Examiner system. Medical examiner duties at the state and county levels are directed by Oregon Revised Statute 146.090. The Oregon State Medical Examiner’s Office is responsible for the technical supervision of county offices in each of Oregon’s 36 counties.

At the county level, medicolegal death investigators (MDIs) conduct death investigations for all sudden, unexpected, suspicious, or unattended deaths within their jurisdictions. At Washington County, all MDIs are certified by the American Board of Medicolegal Death Investigators (ABMDI), ensuring they adhere to the highest national investigative standards.  

MDIs have the following objectives when responding to the scene of a death:

  • Identify the deceased.
  • Establish the approximate date and time of death.
  • Investigate the circumstances surrounding the death.
  • Determine the cause and manner of death.
  • Help facilitate release of the decedent for final arrangements.

During an investigation, an MDI may respond to the scene, interview witnesses, take photographs, collect evidence and property, and ensure notification of next of kin. If further examination and investigation are necessary to determine manner or cause of death, a board-certified forensic pathologist may perform an autopsy on the deceased at the Oregon State Medical Examiner’s Office, located in Clackamas, Oregon.

Washington County Medical Examiner’s Office (MEO) has a program supervisor, a chief medicolegal investigator, five full-time medicolegal death investigators, and a program specialist. There is always a death investigator on duty to serve our community and assist law enforcement with deaths and criminal investigations. Additionally, the MEO works with county epidemiologists (in the Public Health Division) and suicide prevention specialists (in the Behavioral Health Division) to analyze data in order to reduce the number of deaths in our community. The MEO is part of Public Health, a division of the Department of Health and Human Services.

Forms and information

Records Request Form (PDF 49.8 KB)
Use when requesting Medical Examiner records in Oregon

Ordering a Death Certificate - A death certificate can be ordered from Washington County Vital Records for up to six months from the date of death.

Contact information

MDIs are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week for law enforcement response. Due to the on-call nature of this role, investigators are available to meet with the public by appointment only. The program supervisor, chief MDI and program specialist can be reached by phone Monday-Friday from 8 a.m.-5 p.m., except on federal holidays.


Medical Examiner Office

155 N First Avenue
Suite 160, MS-5A
Hillsboro, Oregon 97124

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