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Seal of the Los Angeles County Department of Medical Examiner-Coroner

The Los Angeles County Department of Coroner, now known as the Department of Medical Examiner-Coroner, is responsible for investigation of all deaths in Los Angeles County due to unknown or suspicious circumstances.

Location[]

Los Angeles County Coroner Building

Office for The Los Angeles County Department Coroner is located at 1104 N. Mission Ave. adjoining Los Angeles County General Hospital. Its headquarters is in the original Los Angeles County General Hospital, built in the early 1900s.

Investigations[]

Los Angeles County Medical Examiners have presided over the investigations of the deaths of numerous well-known individuals such as Michael Jackson, Whitney Huston and Brittany Murphy.

During his tenure (1967-1982) former Coroner Thomas Noguchi became known as the "Coroner to the Stars", having presided over the autopsies of, among others, Marilyn Monroe, Robert F. Kennedy, Natalie Wood, John Belushi and Sharon Tate.

Investigations Division[]

Patch of the LA County Coroner, used mainly by Forensics Support Technicians

Deaths that fall under the jurisdiction of the Coroner are investigated by the Investigations Division. These deaths may require that a Coroner's Investigator is dispatched to the scene of the death. Investigators will, for example, interview witnesses and first responders, photograph the scene, collect evidence, make identifications, secure the victims valuables. Investigators prepare reports that are forwarded to the Forensic Medicine Division for use in the determination of the cause of death.

Badge of a Coroner's Investigator

The Department of Coroner's Investigators are certified California Peace Officers with powers of arrest and even use-of-force, if the situation requires it.

Forensic Medicine Division[]

The division’s main responsibility is to determine the cause of death for the coroner’s cases by performing autopsies and by looking for evidence on the victim.

Deputy Medical Examiners are doctors specifically trained in forensic pathology. They conduct autopsies, collect evidence, bodily fluids and tissues for toxicology testing and microscopic study. Upon completion of these tests, the Deputy Medical Examiners analyse the results to determine the cause of death. Evidence collected during autopsies and at the scene of the death can be used for criminal prosecution as well as determining the cause of death. Deputy Medical Examiners are frequently called to court in order to testify as to the results of these examinations.

Skeletons in the Closet[]

The Coroner's Office operates a small shop, Skeletons in the Closet, which funds its drunk driving abatement program, the only coroner's office in the world to do so. The shop sells a range of merchandise, including t-shirts, beach towels, videos, refrigerator magnets, office supplies and more which feature the Coroner's office seal, crime tape motifs and body outlines.

The Department of Coroner in the Major Crimes Universe[]

As in reality, the Department of Coroner conducts autopsies when an individual dies as the result of a crime or in unknown circumstances.

In the Major Crimes Universe, the agency's name change from "Department of Coroner" to "Department of Medical Examiner-Coroner" has not been mentioned.

Known personnel[]

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