The Medical Examiner investigates sudden, violent, unexpected or suspicious deaths that occur in Washtenaw County.
|Washtenaw County Medical Examiner
300 N. Ingalls
Jeffrey Jentzen, M.D., Ph. D.
Allecia Wilson, M.D.
Deputy Medical Examiner
To obtain an autopsy report:
- Write to the Washtenaw County Medical Examiner at:
300 N. Ingalls
Ann Arbor, MI 48109
- Indicate the name of the deceased and the date of death.
- Indicate how many copies you would like.
- Include a check or money order for $25.00 per copy.
- Include the address of where the report should be sent.
To obtain birth and death records contact the Washtenaw County Clerk/Register of Deeds.
Medical Examiner Annual Reports
Medical Examiner Program
The Medical Examiner brings trained medical evaluation to the investigation of deaths that are of concern to the public health, safety, and welfare of the community. Accurate investigation and determination of cause and manner of death are essential to our society for the following reasons:
- The innocent shall be exonerated;
- Murder shall be recognized;
- Criminal and civil court proceedings will be provided with documented, sound, and impartial medical evidence;
- Unrecognized hazards to public health shall be revealed;
- Industrial hazards shall be exposed.
Under Michigan law, deaths are reported to the Medical Examiner in the following circumstances:
- Unexpected infant deaths
- Deaths while in custody
- Deaths resulting from abortion
- Found bodies
- Deaths in the workplace
- Deaths during medical procedures, whether diagnostic or therapeutic, in any location, if the reason for the procedure is to treat an injury or if the death is unexpected and/or results from the procedure itself.
Deaths which should be reported to the Medical Examiner include:
- All those which result, either directly or indirectly from injury, whether by accident or intended, self‑inflicted or caused by another person. Injury includes poisoning and drug ingestion or injection. The interval (passage of time) between the injury and the death, whether it be minutes or months, does not change the requirement for reporting the death.
- Unexpected and unexplained deaths of persons presumed to have been in good health or for whom no history of serious medical problems or progressive primary disease is known should also be reported to the Medical Examiner.
Overview of the Washtenaw County Medical Examiner
The Medical Examiner provides 24-hour on-call service and investigates any sudden, violent, unexpected or suspicious deaths that occur in Washtenaw County. All autopsies are performed at the University of Michigan's morgue.The staff includes medical doctors specializing in forensic pathology, medical investigators, autopsy assistants and support persons.
The Chief Medical Examiner is a physician certified in forensic pathology, authorized by Washtenaw County, Michigan, to investigate sudden unexpected, violent, suspicious, or unnatural deaths. The laws of the State of Michigan assign the responsibility for determining the cause and manner of unexpected deaths in each county to the Medical Examiner. In Washtenaw County, the Chief Medical Examiner is Dr. Jentzen. Dr. Jentzen accepts this responsibility with full commitment to a consistent high quality service, which is recognized as a model throughout the State.
Every reported death is fully investigated, often with cooperation of law enforcement agencies and health care personnel in Washtenaw County as well as around the State of Michigan. Because Washtenaw County is a principal medical referral center, our inquiries often lead necessarily to distant sources of information regarding causes of injury. The results of these death investigations provide valuable information, which is used in professional education and by the criminal justice system, public health departments, families of the deceased and other concerned persons.
While the Medical Examiner staff of investigators, physicians and support persons is primarily concerned with the circumstances surrounding unexpected deaths, our concern for the living is reflected in our regular reviews of all childhood deaths with concerned and involved state and county agencies, as well as our reviews of all deaths of persons receiving community mental health services. Staff members likewise donate many hours to professional and local public education programs for injury investigation, care and prevention.
Periodically, investigators and autopsy assistants are added to our staff. Most positions are currently part-time, and on-call work schedules are made to allow for other commitments. Preferred candidates for these positions have education/employment in some aspect of acute health care, with interest and commitment the primary attributes. Those who believe that they qualify for these positions are encouraged to contact the Medical Examiner's office to inquire about application and training.