Medical Examiners on Staff

Dr. Russell Vega

Dr. Russell Vega

Chief Medical Examiner

Dr. Vega received his bachelor’s degree from Florida State University with majors in Physics and Biochemistry. He attended medical school at the University of South Florida, then stayed in Tampa for residency training in General Surgery (two years) and Anatomic and Clinical Pathology (four years). His fellowship year was also spent in Tampa at the Hillsborough County Medical Examiner Department. He is board certified in Anatomic, Clinical, and Forensic Pathology and has been a licensed physician in the state of Florida since 1993.

Dr. Vega served as Associate Medical Examiner in Hillsborough County (Tampa), as well as Chief of Autopsy and Microbiology Services at the James A. Haley VA Hospital in Tampa, prior to his appointment in 2003 by Governor Jeb Bush to be Chief Medical Examiner of Florida’s Twelfth District. He has had gubernatorial appointments to Florida’s Medical Examiner Commission and the Governor’s Violent Crime and Drug Control Council. He is a long standing member of the Florida Association of Medical Examiners and has served as President-Elect (twice) and President (once), as well as working on and chairing numerous committees and regularly presenting at statewide educational conferences. He is an active member of the Florida Emergency Mortuary Response System (FEMORS) and the National Association of Medical Examiners. He holds clinical assistant professorships with both the University of South Florida College of Medicine/USF Health and the Florida State University College of Medicine.

Dr. Wilson Broussard

Dr. Wilson Broussard

Deputy Chief Medical Examiner

Dr. Broussard got his undergraduate degree in Biology from the University of Louisiana – Lafayette, followed by his MD degree from Louisiana State University. He subsequently completed a pathology residency at the Ochsner Medical Foundation Hospital in New Orleans. Dr. Broussard moved to Florida to complete a Forensic Pathology Fellowship in Miami and has remained here as a full-time Forensic Pathologist for the Florida Medical Examiner system since. He maintains medical licensure for both Louisiana and Florida and is Board Certified ain Anatomic, Clinical and Forensic Pathology.

Dr. Broussard is a member of the Florida Emergency Mortuary Operations Response System (FEMORS) as he responded and assisted with the Pulse Night Club Shooting in Orlando, FL in 2016. He served on the Florida Association of Medical Examiners board of directors and served for many years as the chair of its Nominating Committee. He is a Fellow of the American Academy of Forensic Sciences and the National Association of Medical Examiners and maintains memberships with state and national Pathology organizations (FMA, AMA, ASCP, CAP).

Dr. Suzanne Utley

Dr. Suzanne Utley

Associate Medical Examiner

Dr. Utley earned a Bachelor’s degree in Microbiology, followed by a Master’s degree in Medical Microbiology from the University of Georgia. After graduating from the Emory University School of Medicine, she completed a residency in Anatomical and Clinical Pathology at the University of South Florida, Department of Pathology, and a fellowship in Forensic Pathology with the Hillsborough County Medical Examiner Office. She is board certified in Anatomic, Clinical, and Forensic Pathology. Over the next decade she worked as a Medical Examiner in several coroner and medical examiner offices in Colorado and Georgia before settling at the District 12 Medical Examiner office in Sarasota, FL. in 2006

Dr. Utley has been a member of the federal Disaster Mortuary Operational Response Team (DMORT) since 1993, and serves as the Forensic Pathology Section Leader for Region IV. She served with the Mississippi response to Hurricane Katrina in 2005, and with the Texas/Louisiana response to Hurricane Ike in 2008. She became a member of Florida Emergency Mortuary Operations Response System (FEMORS) in 2006 after moving back to Florida. She is a member of both the National Association of Medical Examiners and the American Academy of Forensic Sciences, and serves as the Chairperson of the Ad Hoc Committee on Mass Disaster Management for the National Association of Medical Examiners.

Dr. Pilou Thirakul

Dr. Pilou Thirakul

Associate Medical Examiner

Dr. Thirakul earned a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology and Neurobiology from Bryn Mawr College, Pennsylvania. She completed her medical school and residency training in Anatomic and Clinical Pathology at the University of California, San Diego, and fellowship training in Forensic Pathology at the Hillsborough County Medical Examiner’s Office in Tampa, Florida. She is board certified in Anatomic, Clinical, and Forensic Pathology, and holds licenses to practice medicine in Florida and California. She is an active member of the National Association of Medical Examiners and the Florida Association of Medical Examiners.

David Winterhalter

Director of Operations

Abby Andrus

Chief Investigator

Trelawny Taylor-Ferraro

Office Manager and Records Custodian

Medical Examiner Investigators

Lora Garrett

Shawn Connell

(Laura) Noel Osborne

Michael Rogers

Ronald Busbee

Kristen Cavener