Medicolegal Death Investigator

Whatcom County Medical Examiner's Office - Hunt Forensics PLLC, Bellingham, WA, US


Under indirect supervision, on an on-call and/or scheduled basis, responds to and participates in the on-scene investigation of unnatural and/or unattended deaths, requests medical records, and prepares reports of death for the Whatcom County Medical Examiner as required. The Medical Examiner’s Office is a 24 hour, 7 days a week, 365 days a year operation. The on-call investigator will remain available to respond to reportable deaths on a 24-hour basis, as per call schedule.

Duties and Responsibilities:

  • Travels to the scene of homicides, suicides, accidental, questionable, and/or unattended deaths as required, on behalf of the Whatcom County Medical Examiner, in accordance with established call schedule.
  • Takes custody of remains in accordance with prescribed protocol and procedure; performs initial on-scene examination of remains; takes photographs and collects information relevant or related to cause and manner of death.
  • Conducts joint investigations of cause of death in association with law enforcement officials attending the scene.
  • Occasionally conducts external examination of bodies and collects bodily fluids, as directed.
  • Collects information and data and prepares reports on death investigations, in accordance with pre-established policy and procedure, ensuring accuracy and completeness of information.
  • Conducts follow up investigations as required.
  • Occasionally attends and provides evidence/testimony as required at pre-trial and/or court hearings, as may be required in individual cases.
  • Practices appropriate safety, environmental, and/or infection control methods.
  • Performs miscellaneous job-related duties as assigned.


Minimum Job Requirements:

  • High School Diploma or GED
  • Completed degree(s) from an accredited institution that are above the minimum education requirement may be substituted for experience on a year for year basis.

Knowledge, Skills and Abilities Required:

  • Knowledge of anatomy, physiology, and/or kinesiology.
  • Ability to maintain quality, safety, and/or infection control standards.
  • Ability to manipulate heavy objects.
  • Ability to write reports containing technical data.
  • Skill in the use of personal computers and related software applications.
  • Ability to operate a motor vehicle by day and by night.
  • Knowledge of death investigation protocol and procedure.
  • Ability to investigate and analyze information.
  • Ability to maintain emotional stability to cope with human suffering, emergencies, and other stresses.
  • Skill in fingerprinting decedents and identifying trauma wounds.
  • Knowledge of cameras and photographic procedures.
  • Ability to work with stressful and/or unpleasant odors, procedures, and circumstances.
  • Ability to understand and follow complex, detailed technical instructions.
  • Ability to understand medical/forensic information and terminology.
  • Ability to operate on a scheduled 24-hour on-call basis.
  • Ability to provide legal depositions and testimony.

Conditions of Employment:

  • A valid Washington State driver license is a requirement for this job.
  • Successful candidate must submit to post-offer, pre-employment physical examination and medical history check.
  • Pre-employment background investigation required.
  • Required to follow the Whatcom County’s influenza vaccination requirement.
  • Must pass a drug test
  • Must be come ABMDI Certified within 2 years from date of hire

Working Conditions and Physical Effort:

  • Work may, on occasion, involve exposure to unusual elements, such as extreme temperatures, dirt, dust, fumes, smoke, unpleasant odors, and/or loud noises.
  • Requires heavy physical activity. Must be able to physically lift, roll and move bodies as necessary in preparation for transportation
  • Work may be performed on scenes that are often in tight, cramped, burned, or difficult locations.
  • Work may on occasion involve exposure to potentially dangerous materials and situations that may require following extensive safety precautions and may include the use of protective equipment.
  • Will work in a death environment with occasional noxious odors.
  • Will work with blood or blood-borne pathogens and will require OSHA training.
  • The employee may be required to work in an office/ or on call hours longer than an anticipated workday. There will also be times when the employee may be required to start earlier than scheduled and work later than scheduled.
  • On-call status 24 hours per day when on duty. Must be able to work various shifts, to include days, evenings, overnight, weekends, and on call throughout the same periods.
  • May require travel for training, commute to other agencies, investigation sites, which may include remote areas.


Pay: Dependent on Experience

How to apply

Please fax your resume, cover letter, and application to our office at 360.922.7054