The staff of the Greene County Medical Examiners Office offers our sincere condolences during
what is a very stressful and difficult time. Please contact us with any questions you may have.
The Greene County Medical Examiners Office is operated through a contract with the University of Missouri at Columbia. Through this cooperative contract, Greene County autopsies are currently performed at the University of Missouri in Columbia, MO. The autopsy typically is performed the day after the death is reported, and the body returned to Springfield immediately after the autopsy is completed. The Medical Examiner will determine the need for an autopsy based on the information received through initial investigation. An autopsy is not done on every case referred to the Medical Examiner. Cases are referred to the medical examiner based on criteria set forth in Missouri Statutes.
Missouri Statute 58.720 directs the Medical Examiner to investigate the following deaths:
- Violence by Homicide, Suicide, or Accident;
- Thermal, Chemical, Electrical, or Radiation burns;
- Criminal Abortion, including self-induced;
- Hazardous and Contagious Disease which might constitute a threat to public health; or when any person dies:
- Suddenly when in apparent good health;
- When unattended by a physician preceding death;
- While in custody of the law, or while an inmate in a public institution;
- In any unusual or suspicious manner.
- Deaths involving drugs or alcohol.
Child deaths, under age 18 are to be reported to the Medical Examiner for
investigation and referral to the Child Fatality Review Panel. The Medical Examiner is also to be
notified of all Residential Care Facility, and Hospice deaths.
Under Missouri Statute, deaths meeting any of these criteria must be immediately reported to the medical examiner or coroner in the county where the person dies. Jurisdiction over a case is also determined by statute and currently if a death is caused by any type of trauma or involves a child, jurisdiction reverts to the county where the incident occurred. The Greene County Medical Examiners Office notifies the appropriate county as soon as the location of the incident is determined. Deaths in the Emergency Department are reported to the Medical Examiner and the death certificate is typically forwarded to our office to be signed.
Personal property is inventoried by the medical examiner, and sent to the funeral home with the body. Clothing that is deemed hazardous due to soiling will be disposed of. Law Enforcement may have personal property that was collected as evidence, or valuables collected for safekeeping. Prescription medications are collected after death. They are inventoried and destroyed after the case is completed.
Toxicology testing is done as part of the autopsy. Samples are obtained, and sent to an off site forensic toxicology lab. Our office usually receives results from these tests in 4-6 weeks. In rare cases special studies may take longer to complete.