Employment Opportunity

Death Investigator

Dallas County Medical Examiner, Adel, Iowa

Salary: $38.35 Hourly

Final Filing Date: November 19, 2019

Assists in the investigation of sudden, unnatural, suspicious, or violent deaths; act as a liaison between the Iowa Office of the State Medical Examiner and the county medical examiner offices, law and other investigative agencies, families of decedents, and the general public; performs related work as required.

Duties and Requirements Click to read more


  • Receives reports of death for autopsy and helps determine if an autopsy is necessary; ensures decedent is properly identified/labeled and notifies the Forensic Pathologist, if necessary.
  • Collects evidence at the death/crime scene, including medical history, medications, psychological state at the time of deaths, weapons, etc.to help determine cause and manner of death; secures photographs/video of scene, interviews family members, friends and witnesses of the deceased.
  • Confers with the physician of the deceased to determine previous medical, psychological, or psychiatric history; obtains/reviews medical and dental records of the deceased, investigates reports from outside agencies and assists the Forensic Pathologists with the identification of the deceased.
  • Locates/notifies next-of-kin or legal representatives of death and provide the basic level of "at-need" grief counseling to family members or those closely affected at the death scene; responds to inquiries from family members of the deceased, investigative agencies, the media and the general public; helps facilitate organ donation in applicable cases.
  • Gathers information to determine whether to accept or decline jurisdiction in cases of death; when jurisdiction is assumed, arrange for labeling and transportation of the body to the medical examiner facility.
  • Works closely with local, state, and federal investigative agencies and advises law enforcement personnel and county medical examiners regarding death scene investigation and the procedures of the Iowa Office of the State Medical Examiner.
  • Prepares detailed reports analyzing the circumstances of death and pertinent information regarding the deceased; complete any follow-up reports or report addendums as required by the Chief Medical Examiner or Director of Forensic Operations.
  • Testifies in both civil and criminal courts when subpoenaed.
  • Maintains proper documentation and chain of custody of evidence, clothing, personal effects, and the deceased individuals while performing investigations.


  • Licensure as a Registered Nurse in the State of Iowa by the Iowa Board of Nursing or is in current standings with State of Iowa as an EMT or equivalent or law enforcement officer.
  • Must be able to tolerate and work in hazardous environments, handle sights, sounds, and odors in a sometimes stressful environment.
  • Displays high standards of ethical conduct. Refrains from dishonest behavior.
  • Works and communications with all clients and customers providing quality professional service.
  • Displays a high level of initiative, effort, attention to detail and commitment by completing assignments efficiently with minimal supervision.
  • Follows policy, cooperates with supervisors and aligns behavior with the goals of the organization.
  • Fosters and facilitates cooperation, pride, trust, group identity and team spirit throughout the organization.
  • Exchanges information with individuals or groups effectively by listening and responding appropriately.
  • Knowledge of the principles and practices of forensic death investigation.
  • Knowledge of the legal provisions concerning collection and admission of evidence in court.
  • Knowledge of Iowa laws as they pertain to the state medico legal system.
  • Ability to compose detailed reports for submission to the Chef Medical Examiner.
  • Ability to interview witnesses and family members.
  • Ability to view situations with objectivity.
  • Ability to follow written and verbal directions and to complete assigned tasks on schedule.
  • Ability to understand basic mathematics.
  • Ability to work independently or as part of a team and interact appropriately with others.
  • Ability to perform routine office/clerical functions (typing, photocopying, data entry, etc.)
  • Ability to apply procedures using good judgment.
Supplemental Information
  • The incumbent will be required to attend a one-week Basic Death Investigation Course.
  • Must have a valid Iowa Driver's license.
  • The position required that the incumbent be able to travel at a moment's notice (24 hours a day) anywhere within the borders of Dallas County.
  • Must be willing to accommodate a work schedule of 24-hour-per-day on-call coverage for the office.
  • Must be able to move approximately 100 pounds by oneself. Must be able to assist in moving heavier objects/bodies.
  • Must be willing to coordinate on-call schedules with other investigators and be willing to share holiday on=call status as required.

Do you have the Education Required? See available on-line and campus-based degree programs now!

How to apply: Apply online

Posted: November 6, 2019

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