West Virginia
Chief Medical Examiner
619 Virginia Street West
Charleston, WV 25302
Ph: (304) 558-6920
Office Hours: M-F 8AM to 5PM

FAQ


How do I contact the West Virginia Office of the Chief Medical Examiner (OCME)?  
  • Office hours 8:00a.m. to 5:00p.m., Monday through Friday.
  • The Chief Medical Examiner Forensics Investigations unit operates 24 hours, 7 days a week.  
  • Mailing Address:
    West Virginia Office of the Chief Medical Examiner 
    619 Virginia Street West
    Charleston, WV  25302
  • Phone: 304-558-6920
  • Fax: FIU-304-558-9039
  • Cremation Permits Fax: 304-558-3874
  • All faxed communications from courts and prosecuting attorneys' offices must use this dedicated 
    fax number: 304-558-7886. The dedicated fax line is to ensure that all communications is properly and promptly routed.
     
   
Does the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner need permission from the next of kin to perform an autopsy?

     By State law, the Medical Examiner is not required to receive permission from the next of kin for an autopsy
that falls under the Medical Examiner's jurisdiction.  Religious objections to an autopsy are handled by the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner, with consultation on a case by case basis.   
 
What happens to personal property brought in with a decedent?

     If personal property is transported with a body to OCME, it is inventoried.  The clothing and personal effects
are removed and inventoried at the time of autopsy, and placed in a secure location.  These items may be retained as evidence by law enforcement.  If no evidence is retained, the clothing and personal effects are released with the decedent to the legal next of kin or to a designated funeral home.

 
How does a legal next of kin or estate administrator/executor obtain a copy of the autopsy report?

   Decedent records are classified as confidential medical records and disclosure is restricted.
With these restrictions all request for autopsy reports, toxicology reports and cremation permits must go through OCME's Administrator.

Contact the administrator at (304) 558-6920.


How do I find a funeral home?
 
     The Office of the Chief Medial Examiner cannot recommend a funeral home. A directory is available at http://www.funeralhomes.com/
 
 
How long does it take for an autopsy report to be completed?

     It typically takes at least six to eight weeks for the autopsy report to be completed. The OCME does not release a report until all information has been gathered from third parties, testing has been performed and the final evaluation written. These are confidential medical records and disclosure is restricted.  
 
How can I obtain an autopsy or toxicology report

     
Decedent records are classified as confidential medical records and disclosure is restricted.
With these restrictions all request for autopsy reports, toxicology reports and cremation permits must go through OCME's Administrator.


Contact the administrator at (304) 558-6920.
   
How can I obtain a copy of a Death Certificate?

     As soon as the case is completed, an amended death certificate will be filed with the State Vital Registration office. 
   
     If the cause and manner of death are "pending," the original death certificate is filed with Vital Registration, and it will state that. 

     Generally, the funeral director can provide copies of the official death certificate to the families as a service. 

     West Virginia death certificates are issues by the West Virginia Vital Registration office.
 
West Virginia
Chief Medical Examiner
619 Virginia Street West
Charleston, WV 25302
Ph: (304) 558-6920
Hours: M-F 8:00 am to 5:00 pm
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