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Frequently Asked Questions

How do I claim a body?

The legal next of kin should contact a funeral home or crematorium, make final arrangements and sign a written release, giving the Medical Examiner Department permission to release the body.

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The cause of death has not been determined yet or is pending, but I need proof of death of my loved one. What can I do?

The Records Bureau of the Medical Examiner Department can provide a verification of death to families before a death certificate is filed, provided the deceased has been positively identified.

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How do I know that is my loved one you have at the morgue?

All bodies are fingerprinted if possible upon arrival and photographs are taken if the identity is questionable.  Identification can be made by fingerprint comparison by a law enforcement agency or identification can be made by a family member viewing photographs of the deceased.

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How long will the Medical Examiner hold the body of my loved one to allow for final arrangements to be made?

The ME Department will hold the body for 72 hours after death.  If there are extenuating circumstances, however, the body can be held longer.

If an autopsy has to be performed on my loved one, how long will it take for the body to be transported to the funeral home?

A body is usually processed and ready to go to the funeral home within 24 to 48 hours after arriving at the ME Department.

Where may I obtain a death certificate?

Death certificates may be obtained from the Miami Dade County Health Department Vital Records, (New Address Pending).  Main telephone number 305-575-5030.

Back to Top Page Last Edited: Thu Mar 29, 2012 2:43:44 PM

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