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Medical Examiners Office (ME)

Frequently Asked Questions

Where do I get a copy of the Death Certificate?

Death Certificates are available from the Register of Deeds Office. Our staff does not provide copies. On occasion, an exact cause and manner of death is not immediately determined following an autopsy or investigation. Special laboratory tests or further investigation may be necessary. As a result, there are occasions when a death certificate may not be available for several weeks or longer. In those situations, a pending death certificate will be filed and later replaced with an amended death certificate once the cause and manner has been established.

How do I get a disinterment permit?

Please call the Medical Examiners Office and make an appointment to meet with the Medical Examiner.  An application will be given for the disinterment. The application must be filled out accurately before a permit is issued. There is a fee for this service.

How do I obtain a copy of the Medical Examiners report, autopsy results, toxicology results and other information regarding a death investigation?

Please call our office at 715-532-2283 (not staffed)  and leave a message for the ME. For most requests, you will need to provide specific information in writing. There is a fee for this service for the agencies or individuals requesting information. Photographs are not provided without a court order to release the photos.

Why is the Medical Examiners Office involved?

Wisconsin State Statute 979 sets the guidelines for Coroners and Medical Examiners in Wisconsin. All deaths in Rusk County regardless of cause and manner are reportable to the ME office. The ME and/or Deputy ME will determine if our office will need to investigate deaths reported to our office.

Will an autopsy be performed?

An autopsy will be performed when there is a need to establish or confirm a cause and manner of death for the purpose of issuing a death certificate, in cases involving criminal or suspected criminal wrongdoing and in any case which an autopsy is considered to be prudent at the ME’s discretion.

Will I be able to view the body at the Medical Examiners Office or morgue?

Under certain rare circumstances family members are asked to positively identify an individual. Our office and morgue are not designed for viewing decedents. We do, however, contact the funeral homes that your loved one is transported to for this purpose.

What should I do after being made aware of a death and the involvement of the ME?

Selection of a funeral home or cremation facility of your choice is important for your loved ones release from our custody. Select a funeral home or cremation facility and advise the funeral director of the involvement of our office. Funeral directors are familiar with the operation of our office and will assist you in making all arrangements for final disposition, including obtaining a death certificate. The funeral director will also receive the decedent’s personal property that is not being held as evidence.