The Montana Medical Examiner’s Office is a bureau within the Montana Department of Justice, Forensic Science Division. It was created in the 1980s to provide autopsy services and death investigation resources for county coroners, law enforcement agencies, and county attorneys on behalf of Montana’s citizens. The office has locations at both the Montana State Crime Lab in Missoula and the Eastern Forensic Science Division in Billings. Medical Examiners are Forensic Pathologists (Physicians specialized in forensics) who work with the State’s county coroners and other law enforcement agencies to determine cause and manner of death in unattended or unexpected circumstances.
Mission Statement: We strive to create a partnership between Medical Examiners and Coroners to promote the health, well-being, and safety of the citizens of Montana through education, service, and compassionate, professional death investigation.
Death Investigation Roles: Montana has a coroner-based death investigation system in which the coroner of each county is responsible for deaths that occur in his/her county. Our forensic pathologists are a resource for county coroners and provide autopsy and medico-legal services. Autopsy services are requested by coroners, or other law enforcement investigators, to assist in clarifying cause and manner of death. Autopsy services typically include toxicology testing. Final reports are available on average within 60-90 days and are provided to the county coroners for distribution.