The Medical Examiner conducts medical and legal investigations of unattended, violent, unexpected or suspicious deaths and authorizes all cremations in Yuma County. The Medical Examiner Department is mandated by Arizona Law (§ARS 11-593) which requires that certain deaths be reported to the Medical Examiner. Upon reporting of a death, a Medical Examiner Investigator will determine whether jurisdiction will be accepted. If jurisdiction is accepted, the Medical Examiner Investigator will respond to the location of death and take charge of the body (§ARS 11-594) and transport the body to the Medical Examiner’s Office. The Investigator will provide detailed information to the Medical Examiner Pathologist who shall determine whether an external examination or autopsy is required to determine the manner and cause of death.
During 2023, a total of 1,461 deaths were reported to the Medical Examiner's Department to determine the manner and cause of death. Additionally, a total of 497 Death Certificate cremation approvals were issued by the Medical Examiner.
This department works closely with all Federal, State, Tribal, County, and local law enforcement agencies, as well as the Yuma Regional Medical Center, Hospice Facilities and Physicians within Yuma County. The Medical Examiner Department does not issue certified copies of the Death Certificates or perform family request of private autopsies.