Medical Examiner's Office

The Hennepin County Medical Examiner's Office under the leadership of Chief Medical Examiner Dr. Andrew M. Baker, provides death investigative services and forensic autopsy services for deaths that occur in:

  • Hennepin County
  • Dakota County
  • Scott County
  • Other counties across the Midwest

All deaths that are sudden or unexpected or occur from other than natural causes must be reported to the medical examiner.

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For families and next of kin

The death of a loved one can cause tremendous stress and sorrow. We hope our information for families brochure (PDF) will assist you during the grieving process, and help answer questions about the autopsy process and the role of the medical examiner.

Burial assistance

  • Hennepin County provides burial assistance to families who are unable to afford the full cost of burial, funeral or cremation expenses, if the death occurred in Hennepin County.
  • If the death occurred in Scott County, call 952-445-7750.
  • If the death occurred in Dakota County, call 651-554-5710.

Autopsy reports

An autopsy is not always done as part of the investigation/examination process. If you are unsure whether an autopsy was completed, please contact us at 612-215-6300. If an autopsy was completed and you are the immediate next of kin and would like a copy of an autopsy report, please complete the form below, enclose payment and return to the Medical Examiner's Office.

Most autopsy reports are completed within 8-12 weeks. However, because each investigation is unique, the time frame can vary widely. Initial toxicology results are usually available within 2-3 weeks, but final results may take longer if further testing is necessary.

Death certificates

The funeral director handling the final arrangements for your loved one can assist you in getting copies of the death certificate.

You can also obtain certified copies from Vital Records offices in:

For community partners and agencies

The counties of Hennepin, Dakota and Scott have combined resources and talent to provide the highest quality death investigation services.

Report a death

  • In Hennepin County, call 612-215-6300.
  • In Dakota or Scott counties, call the Dakota Communications Center Dispatch (DCC) at 651-322-2323, and they will connect you with the Medical Examiner's Office.


  • Hospice pre-registration form (DOC) — This form is used by licensed hospice agencies to pre-register terminally ill hospice patients.
  • Cremation approval form (PDF) — This form is used by funeral homes and physicians only to facilitate the cremation approval process with the Medical Examiner's Office. For any questions about cremation approval procedures or the use of this form, please call 612-215-6300.
  • Next of kin authorization for removal (PDF) — This form is used by funeral homes to ensure that the next of kin has indeed contracted with your organization to work on the final disposition of the decedent.


Driving directions for funeral directors and livery services

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