Funeral Homes; Cremation
Contracted body removal services within the three counties have access to deliver bodies to either of the medical examiner facilities at any time of the day or night. However, funeral homes and other mortuary transport agencies, which might also occasionally have need to deliver a body to either of the medical examiner facilities, can only deliver bodies during the regular business hours of the facility. Any such delivery should be scheduled in advance with the technicians of that facility. Please note that each facility has its own operating hours. Most importantly, prior to any delivery or pick-up of a body, please be certain that you know the correct facility to respond to!
Body Release and Pick-up
Prior to making a request for body pick-up and release, please make sure that a release has been signed by the next of kin or other authorized person (for questions about who is authorized to sign for the release, please refer to the question What does “legally authorized person’’ mean when referring to release of bodies? on the Frequently Asked Questions(FAQ) page. If there are any questions about the release process, please contact the main office at 941-361-6909 and ask to speak to the case investigator for that decedent. For bodies that are to be released from the Manatee Facility (Manatee County deaths), you may download a release form here. For bodies that are to be released from the Sarasota Facility (Sarasota and DeSoto County deaths), you may download a release form here. You may also use your own release form provided that is has all of the elements included with the District 12 forms.
Again, please be certain that you know the correct facility to respond to!
Manatee County Autopsy Facility
Bodies are released from 8:00 AM to 4:00 PM Monday through Friday. Bodies are not released after hours or on weekends so please plan accordingly!! To schedule a body release and pick-up, please call the facility at 941-746-6922. Please note that GPS navigation systems may not reliably guide you to the facility by its address, so please use directions provided on this website or by facility staff. For the location and contact information of the facility, please click here.
Sarasota and DeSoto Counties Autopsy Facility
The Sarasota Memorial Hospital morgue serves as the medical examiner facility for both Sarasota and DeSoto Counties and is located at the southwest corner of the hospital campus. Construction on an adjacent parking garage has resulted in closure of Hawthorne street – access to the facility is now via Waldemere Street ONLY. Bodies are released seven days a week, from 8:00 AM to 6:00 PM. To schedule a body release and pick-up, please call the facility at 941-917-1186. For the location and contact information of the facility, please click here.
In accordance with Florida Statute 406.11, rule 11G of the Florida Administrative Code, and other rules and regulations of the state of Florida, all deaths in which the body is to be cremated must be investigated by the medical examiner and an approval number must be supplied to the funeral home or crematory prior to cremation. In support of this service, local ordinances # R-08-217 (Manatee County) and # 2008-083 (Sarasota County), require the payment of a cremation fee for bodies from Sarasota and Manatee Counties. This fee is currently $35 and is payable to District Twelve Medical Examiner. DeSoto County has no cremation fee. Cremation, embalming, and other such services are NOT performed by the medical examiner.
To inquire about cremation fees, account balances, and for any other billing or cremation related questions, please call David Winterhalter, Director of Operations, at the administrative office, 941-361-6909.