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Medicolegal Death Investigation Subcommittee

OSAC Medicolegal Death Investigation SC icon

The Medicolegal Death Investigation Subcommittee focuses on standards and guidelines related to sudden, unnatural, unexplained or suspicious deaths, including homicides, suicides, unintentional fatal injuries, drug-related deaths and other deaths that are sudden or unexpected; determination of the cause and manner of death.

Officers | Members | StandardsDiscipline-Specific Baseline Documents | Research & Development Needs | Presentations



Kelly Keyes, Subcommittee Chair, Orange County (California) Sheriff's Coroner Office

Laura Crandall, M.A., Subcommittee Vice Chair, New York University Langone Health


Andrew Baker, M.D., Hennepin County Medical Examiner's Office

Paula Braun, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention 

Theodore Brown, Western Michigan University Homer Stryker M.D. School of Medicine

Matthew Cain, Regenstrief Institute/Indiana University Health

David Carter, Ph.D., Chaminade University of Honolulu

Tom Hensley, Jackson County (Missouri) Medical Examiner's Office

Julie Howe, Franklin, Jefferson, and St. Charles Counties (Missouri) Medical Examiner Offices

DeAnna Lowe, Cook County Office of the Medical Examiner

Lauri McGivern, Vermont Office of the Chief Medical Examiner

Erin Morris, Los Angeles County Public Defender (Human Factors Representative)

Jayne Morrow, Ph.D., Montana State University

Marcus Nashelsky, M.D., University of Iowa

Bobbi Jo O'Neal, Charleston County Coroner's Office

Lindsey C. Thomas, M.D., Hennepin County, Minnesota (Retired)

Margaret Warner, Ph.D., Centers for Disease Control and Prevention


Tier 1: On the OSAC Registry

Tier 2: Published by a Standards Developing Organization (SDO)

Tier 3: Sent to an SDO

Tier 4: Under Development

  • Medicolegal Death Investigation Workflow and Information Requirements.
  • Workload Limitations for Medicolegal Death Investigators.
  • Crime Scene/Death Investigation: Medicolegal Death Investigation Terms and Definitions.
  • Mass Fatality Management: Best Practice Recommendations for the Medicolegal Authority.
  • Media Communications Following a Mass Fatality Incident: Best Practice Recommendations for Medicolegal Authority.
  • Ethical Considerations in Disaster Victim Identification: Best Practice Recommendations for the Medicolegal Authority.
  • Family Management Following a Mass Fatality Incident: Victim Information Center Best Practice Recommendations for Medicolegal Authorities.
  • Disaster Victim Identification Process: Best Practice Recommendations for the Medicolegal Authority.

Discipline-Specific Baseline Documents

The Forensic Science Standards Board (FSSB) has provided the opportunity for OSAC Subcommittees to identify baseline documents and reference materials that best reflect the current state of the practice within their respective disciplines. 

These documents contain practical information regarding these disciplines that can help forensic scientists, judges, lawyers, researchers, other interested parties and the general public, to better understand the nature, scope, and foundations of the individual disciplines as they are currently practiced.

It is important to note that the identification of these documents in this venue does not represent an endorsement by OSAC or NIST.  Only documents that are posted on the OSAC Registry constitute OSAC endorsement. All copyrights for these documents are reserved by their owners. Subcommittee position statements or responses to data collections by the subcommittee represent the consensus opinion of the subcommittee, not necessarily the position of the entire OSAC organization or NIST.

Accreditation, Certification, and Training:

Endorsement of External Documents:


Critical Stress Management:

Supply of Forensic Pathologists:

Organ and Tissue Procurement:    

Media Relations:

Medicolegal Death Investigation Centers:

Next of Kin:

Workplace Locations:


Pathology Departments:

Research & Development Needs


  • None currently.

In general, the development of standards and guidelines is transitioning from the Scientific Working Groups (SWGs) to the OSAC. Some SWGs will continue to operate to provide other resources within their discipline. The existing SWG documents will remain in effect until updated documents are disseminated by the OSAC or the SWG. SWGDAM will retain the responsibility for updating the FBI DNA Quality Assurance Standards.

– Forensic Science Standards Board: March 2015

Created July 9, 2014, Updated October 2, 2020