San Diego Medical Examiner – Funeral Services

Funerals Your Way is the closest funeral home to the San Diego County Medical Examiner (coroner)- only a few blocks from our location. Cases from the Medical Examiner can often be a bit unique – there may be personal effects to deal with or family may be out of town. Many times the family will wish to see the loved one one last time becauses with Medical Examiner cases, the passing is often unexpected.

Coordination with doctor, hospital and/or Medical Examiner ♥ Taking deceased into our care ♥ Climate controlled holding area ♥ Filing legal paperwork ♥ Transfer to crematory ♥ Basic container for cremation ♥ Individual cremation ♥ Container for cremains ♥ Disposition permit (1) ♥ Released to family ♥ Notify Social Security ♥ Tree Planted in Honor of Deceased

Complete Funeral Services

$1095 – Basic Cremation


$3995 – Cremation with Service

Death certificates are generally available within a few days for the family to pick up, or may be mailed. Often death certificates are available more rapidly for Medical Examiner cases.

We are a full service funeral home and offer both cremation services as well as traditional burial with casket. As well we offter complete burial at sea services including both ash scattering and full body burial at sea.

Whatever your wishes we will do our best to provide you with outstanding service as is shown by our large number of reviews.

Immediate Family Viewing 

With Medical Examiner (also know as coroner) cases since the loved ones passing is unexpected many family members will wish to see their family member one last time. We can easily accommodate this in our new viewing area.

The deceased with be lightly prepared for immediate family viewing.

For additional information about the Medical Examiner please reference their site.

Viewing Area with blue chairs and flowers  for funeral services

San Diego Medical Examiner

A person is typically taken to the Medical Examiner (coroner) when their death falls under certain circumstances that require further investigation. It is their job to determine the cause and manner of death, if possible.

Given the number of death in San Diego County and the number of cases the San Diego Medical Examiner investigates, there is about a 15% chance of being taken there after you pass. This percentage is skewed; however, the likelihood of you arriving there increases as you engage in activities that could make your passing need investigation.

Death Needs to be Investigated by the Medical Examiner (coroner)

Common reasons someone may be taken to the medical examiner

Unexpected or sudden death: If a person passes unexpectedly, such as in an accident, homicide, suicide the medical examiner will be involved to determine what caused the person’s passing.

Suspicious circumstances: If there may be foul play, criminal activity, or negligence involved in a person’s passing, the medical examiner will become involved. They will perform an examination, gather evidence and provide information that may be used for legal investigations.

Unattended deaths: If a person passes alone or the circumstances of their passing are unknown, the medical examiner will examine them to ascertain why they died.

Deaths in custody: When someone dies in police custody the medical examiner investigates will investigate.

Occupational hazards or accidents: When someone dies in workplace related manner the medical examiner may investigate.

Public health concerns: During disease outbreaks, pandemics (like our recent COVID), or mass casualties becomes involved. 

When is a Person Taken to the Medical Examiner

local regulations Vary

When a person is taken to the Medical Examiner  (coroner) may vary depending on jurisdiction and local regulations. The regulations that apply to Orange County may be slightly different than San Diego County. The reason is to ensure a thorough and impartial investigation to determine the cause and manner of passing.

The body will often not need to be physically taken to the Medical Examiner. For example, if you pass home unexpectedly, the police will be called and contact the medical examiner. They will come to your residence and investigate; if they do not need to take your body, the family will receive a waiver #. At this point, you can call a funeral home, and they can come and take your loved one into their care.

What Happens After Arrival at the Medical Examiner

When a deceased person arrives at the Medical Examiner’s office, a series of procedures and examinations are conducted. These help determine the cause and manner of death. Your stay there is generally short, just a couple of days, provided someone can claim your body. If not, your stay could be months.

Checkin: The medical examiner will receive the body and begin collecting iformation such as the person’s identity, circumstances of death, and medical history.

External examination: The examiner will inspect the body externally looking for trama. They document this with photographs and notes.

Internal examination: If necessary, an autopsy may examine the internal organs and tissues. This involves removing organs, and conducting a thorough investigation to identify internal injuries, diseases, or abnormalities.

Toxicology screening: Samples of bodily fluids, are collected. These tests detect the presence of drugs, alcohol, or other substances that may have contributed to the person’s death.

Microscopic examination: Tissue samples taken during the autopsy may be analyzed under a microscope to identify specific diseases or infections.

Ancillary tests: Additional tests such as genetic testing, cultures, or X-rays or CT scans may be conducted to gather more information.

Final report: Once the investigation a report is prepared to detail their findings. This report includes the cause and manner of death and any relevant contributing factors or conditions.

What Happens at the Medical Examiner

Specific procedures and protocols may vary depending on the jurisdiction and the death circumstances. For example, Orange County procedures may differ slightly from San Diego counties. The primary goal of the Medical Examiner’s office is to determine the cause of death accurately and impartially. This provides valuable information for legal, investigative, and public health purposes.

Leaving the Medical Examiner

Leaving the Medical Examiner

After the Medical Examiner (coroner) notifies the family that their loved one is in their care, the family can contact a funeral home

We will work with the family to arrange their loved one’s release. A medical examiner release form will need to be signed by the next of kin before release. Some county medical examiners (such as Orange County) also charge a fee (San Diego does not). The funeral home will take their loved one to their car and begin whatever arrangements the family wishes.

Funerals Your Way
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