Autopsies and the Mesa County Coroner’s Office

An autopsy is not necessary in every case. Each death investigated by the Mesa County Coroner’s Office undergoes review of the circumstances surrounding the death, medical record review and interviews of family members. Some of these deaths can be released directly to a funeral home without an autopsy especially in the deaths of individuals who have a significant medical history and there was nothing of concern to suggest a non-natural death at the scene of death. It is the Coroner and their office personnel who decide if an autopsy will be performed. It is important for the Coroner to bring their medical experience to each case along with all the findings when determining if an autopsy is required. An autopsy can be requested by law enforcement, the district attorney’s office and the family of the deceased but it is ultimately the decision of the Coroner if an autopsy will be performed. However, most would consider it important to consider other people’s wishes when deciding on the autopsy. The autopsy is considered a public service that is performed by the Mesa County Coroner’s Office and the results of the autopsy can not only be important to answer questions for law enforcement officials and family but also for public health data. The autopsies should be performed by board certified forensic pathologists, who are the professionals who have undergone extensive training to do this task. If the Mesa County Coroner’s Office decides against doing an autopsy, the family can request a “private autopsy” be performed by groups such as The Pathology Group, PC.