Welcome to the web pages of the San Diego County Department of the Medical Examiner. San Diego County is one of five of California’s fifty-eight counties that has an independent Medical Examiner to conduct its medicolegal death investigations (43 counties having Sheriff-Coroners, and 10 others having coroners separate from law enforcement agencies). With the same responsibilities as a coroner, our Department serves the county’s population of 3.38 million people, investigating certain types of deaths that occur in the county every year, per California Government Code Section 27491 and Health and Safety Code Section 102850. While about 23,000 – 25,000 deaths have occurred annually in San Diego County in recent years, and approximately half of those deaths were reported to our Department, we further investigate those deaths that are sudden and unexpected or are the result of un-natural causes of death. This comes to between 3,000 and 4,000 deaths per year. For the majority of deaths in the county that are due to natural causes, the decedent’s own doctor is able to determine their cause of death and complete their death certificate.
The Medical Examiner’s facility is centrally located in Kearny Mesa (address below) in the County Operations Center. Investigations, postmortem examinations, toxicological examinations, and preparation and distribution of reports are provided by our staff of 57 full time employees.
As you browse through these web pages, we hope you will find useful information about the Department’s services, as well as information about the deaths that we have investigated for the approximate last 25 years. Every individual death investigation is important, from the familial level to the community level. As a department, we do our best to assist the decedent's next of kin and other family members as they navigate through a difficult time. Our investigations and determinations not only support the families and legal matters specific to each decedent; the information we learn collectively from all deaths we investigate also forms a valuable contribution to the understanding of health and safety issues faced by our county.
Thank you for using these pages.
Steven C. Campman, M.D.
Chief Medical Examiner
Promote safe communities by certifying the cause and manner of death for all homicides, suicides, accidents and sudden/unexpected natural deaths in San Diego County. In addition, provide related forensic services, assistance and education to families of the deceased, as well as to public and private agencies, in a professional and timely manner.
San Diego County Medical Examiner's Office
5570 Overland Ave.
San Diego, CA 92123-1206
(Click for Map)
Phone: (858) 694-2895
Fax: (858) 495-5956