Southern Minnesota Regional Medical Examiner's Office
The Southern Minnesota Regional Medical Examiner's Office (SMRMEO) performs autopsies and death investigation services for these counties in Southeast Minnesota:
SMRMEO performs autopsies on behalf of Mower County.
The Southern Minnesota Regional Medical Examiner's Office is an outreach effort of Mayo Clinic in Rochester, under the direction of R. Ross Reichard, M.D. It began on Jan. 1, 2013.
Autopsies and death investigations are conducted for "all sudden or unexpected deaths and all deaths that may be due entirely or in part to any factor other than natural disease processes," as noted in Minnesota State Statute, 390.11.
The Southern Minnesota Regional Medical Examiner's Office assists families, law enforcement agencies and the legal system by determining a scientifically unbiased and logical cause and manner of death.
The information gathered during a death investigation and subsequent autopsy can be critical in civil and criminal court cases. Even when the death is due to natural causes, this information may help surviving family members protect their own health.
To help you better understand the autopsy process, you can view a Frequently asked questions brochure (PDF).
Your funeral home director can facilitate the process of obtaining a copy of the death certificate.
Certified copies of death certificates can also be obtained from vital records offices in:
To assist licensed hospice agencies with the death investigation and autopsy processes, the following resources are available:
- Preregistration. For people expected to die outside of a hospital or nursing home in Dodge, Fillmore, Goodhue, Houston and Olmsted counties, a preregistration form (PDF) is required.
- Death notification. Upon the death of a person receiving hospice care, please send a notification of death form (PDF).
- Death investigation. The Medical Examiner's Office needs to be contacted only when a person's death may be due to a medication error, fall or trauma, or any suspicious or unusual circumstances.
For funeral homes
Currently, the Southern Minnesota Regional Medical Examiner's Office requests that funeral homes complete the cremation request form (PDF).
This form will soon transition to an electronic form at the Minnesota Department of Health. If SMRMEO staff pathologists are signing the death certificate, the medical information on the bottom half of the form is not required. The death investigator involved in the case will give direction on who is signing the death certificate.
Southern Minnesota Regional Medical Examiner's staff
Monday to Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Dodge County Law Enforcement Center
Fillmore County Law Enforcement Center
Goodhue County Law Enforcement Center
Houston County Law Enforcement Center
Olmsted County Law Enforcement Center