Department of Public Health

Medical Examiner Program

David A. Start, MD, Chief Medical Examiner

All sudden, unexpected, or violent deaths in the County, and most unwitnessed deaths are investigated through the Medical Examiner Program which is mandated by the State of Michigan. The Medical Examiner is responsible for providing an accurate cause and manner of death for a deceased individual. It may also be necessary to provide an estimation of the time the individual expired. This is completed through medical investigative techniques and assures that the final chapter in a decedent’s life is documented properly on the death certificate.

To obtain copies of Medical Examiner documents:

The Medical Examiner permanently maintains all records and documents pertaining to Medical Examiner Deaths in Ottawa County. Copies of the reports on any Medical Examiner case can be obtained as follows:

  • Please send a written request with your address and telephone numbers. Indicate the full name of the deceased person, the date of death, and the address where you would like the copies sent.
  • Enclose a check or money order for$55 for a full autopsy, toxicology and scene investigation record or $35 for a scene investigation record only.
  • Occasionally, photographs are included with the reports. If laser copies are desired, contact the Medical Examiner office (616) 393-5761 to determine if photos are part of the file and the cost for copies.

Checks should be made payable to the Ottawa County Treasurer, but mail all of your correspondence with the check to:

Ottawa County Medical Examiner
12251 James Street, Suite 400
Holland, MI 49424

Contact the Medical Examiner Clerk at 616-393-5761 if you have questions. (Fax number: (616) 393-5624)