About the Medical Examiner's Office

The Mecklenburg County Medical Examiner's Office (MCMEO) provides morgue and forensic pathology services to the residents of Mecklenburg County as well as consultation and forensic pathology services to Cleveland and Gaston counties. 

The office is responsible for death investigations under the following circumstances and works with local, state and federal law enforcement agencies when necessary. It also coordinates with the Mecklenburg County Public Health Department for purposes of diseases monitoring. 

  • Natural deaths in individuals without a physician. 

  • Unexpected deaths in otherwise healthy individuals. 

  • All accidental, suicidal, homicidal, traumatic or violent deaths.  

  • Deaths occurring under unusual circumstances.  

  • Deaths of all prisoners as well as all patients in a state mental health facility.  

The MCMEO performs the following types of examinations and services:


The anatomic dissection and examination of a body to determine cause of death. Autopsies include the examination of all major organs to document injury and/or disease, and the  sampling of blood and tissue to send for toxicology testing and histology.

External Viewing

The external viewing of a body to validate documented circumstances surrounding the death. Medical records and police reports are reviewed in conjunction with the external exam to determine cause and manner of death. In most cases, blood samples are obtained and sent for toxicology testing.

Cremation Viewing

Any decedent whose family chooses cremation, under state law may require a viewing by a Medical Examiner to authorize the cremation.


Storage may be provided for decedents who do not fall under Medical Examiner jurisdiction while the family makes funeral or cremation arrangements.  

Medical Examiner Jurisdiction

NC State General Statues outline jurisdiction and responsibility for Medical Examiners that operate within the State system.