About Us

  1. General Information
  2. Mission, Vision, Values
  3. Community Involvement

What we do:

The Office of the Medical Examiner is a county agency charged under Arizona Law to perform medical investigations of certain types of deaths in our community. The goal of these investigations is to determine the medical cause (disease and/or injury) of the death for the protection of the public’s health and safety. Our investigations inform families, the public and its agencies, and other community stakeholders in the hopes that future deaths may be prevented.

Who we are:

Our agency is staffed by certified forensic medical and scientific professionals in a variety of fields including forensic pathology, forensic anthropology, forensic odontology, forensic technicians, neuropathology, medicolegal death investigation, forensic photography, histotechnology and administrative support staff.

Who we serve:

Our investigations are intended to serve the entire public of Maricopa County by identifying traumatic, non-natural, or unexplained deaths so that policy, legal, and public health interventions may be developed to assist residents live long and healthy lives.  In doing these investigations, we commit ourselves to compassionate, kind, and professional interactions with the bereaved members of our community left behind by such tragedies.




Chief Medical Examiners

  • Dr. Daniel J. Condon – October 1951 – April 1964
  • Dr. Thomas B. Jarvis – April 1964 – June 1964
  • Dr. Daniel J. Condon – August 1964 – January 1969
  • Dr. Thomas B. Jarvis – October 1969 – June 1971
  • Dr. Heinz Karnitschnig – July 1971 – April 1992
  • Dr. Philip Keen – April 1992 – August 2006
  • Dr. Mark Fischione – September 2006 – June 2013
  • Dr. Jeffrey Johnston – June 2013 to current

Statutory Authority

  • A.R.S. Title 11 (Counties), Chapter 3 (County Officers), Article 12 (County Medical Examiner), which includes:
    • A.R.S. §11-592 – County medical examiner; alternate medical examiners; fund; notification
    • A.R.S. §11-593 – Reporting of certain deaths; failure to report; violation; classification
    • A.R.S. §11-594 – Powers and duties of county medical examiner
    • A.R.S. §11-597 – Autopsies; reports; exemption from liability
    • A.R.S. §11-597.01 - Duty to conduct identification meeting; exception; immunity; definitions
    • A.R.S. §11-600 – Burial of indigent deceased; disposal of property
  • A.R.S. §36-325 – Death certificate registration; moving human remains; immunity
  • A.R.S. §36-860 – County medical examiners; authorization
  • A.R.S. §36-861 – Medical examiner; release of information