District Twelve Medical Examiner’s Office

Welcome to the District Twelve Medical Examiner’s Office.  It is my goal through this website to present general information about the Medical Examiner’s Office and death investigation, to give visitors a means to request autopsy reports and other documents, and to provide access to frequently requested information.

If you cannot find what you need on the website, please call our main office number at 941-361-6909 during regular business hours and we will gladly assist you.

Russell S. Vega, MD, Chief Medical Examiner

Our Mission

It is the Mission of the District Twelve Medical Examiner’s Office to provide the highest quality of death investigation services in support of the citizens and public and private agencies of DeSoto, Manatee and Sarasota Counties, and in accordance with the statutes, rules and regulations of the State of Florida.

The District 12 Medical Examiner’s Office has three separate facilities:  an administrative office in Sarasota, an autopsy facility in Bradenton, where Manatee County deaths are examined, and an autopsy facility in Sarasota (on the campus of the Sarasota Memorial Hospital) where Sarasota and DeSoto county deaths are examined. The facility utilized depends on where the death occurred or was pronounced, not on where the individual resided.  Examination frequently, but not always, includes autopsy.  All routine business matters are handled at the administrative office.  Bodies are transported to and picked up from the autopsy facilities ONLY, NEVER from the administrative office. Personnel include medical examiners (pathologists), investigators, autopsy technicians, and clerical staff.  Each death is assigned to a specific medical examiner and medical examiner investigator.   Autopsy and other reports are available upon case completion, which may take weeks or months depending on the extent of toxicology and other additional testing required.
The death of a loved one at home should be reported by calling 911. Note that deaths occurring under hospice care should be reported to the hospice care provider – a call to 911 is not usually needed.

For Law Enforcement officers, Health Care Facilities, and Other Health Providers:  Deaths that meet reporting criteria (in other words, they appear likely to be deaths that would fall under medical examiner jurisdiction) can and should be reported.   However, deaths that appear to be due to natural causes, with no known trauma or injuries, and no concerns of drug intoxication, and with a licensed Florida physician (attending doctor or primary care doctor) to sign the death certificate, do not need to be reported. If you are uncertain if the death is a medical examiner case, the death should be reported to us. Deaths can be reported any time of the day or night by calling our main office number, 941-361-6909.

For questions about the death of your loved one, or process and procedures of the District Twelve Medical Examiner’s Office:

District Twelve Medical Examiner’s Office
4520 Fruitville Road
Sarasota, FL. 34232
Phone: (941) 361-6909
Fax: (941) 361-6914

Press releases, statistics, and relevant articles: