Employment Opportunity

Forensic Death Investigator I

Tarrant County Medical Examiner, Fort Worth, Texas

Salary: $26.21 - $28.83 Hourly

Final Filing Date: May 31, 2023

Performs basic-level professional investigative duties on a day-to-day basis to achieve goals of the department, which may include activities such as conducting investigations into all sudden, unexpected, and unattended deaths or investigating reported death-related crimes committed within the jurisdiction of the Tarrant County Medical Examiner's Office.

Duties and Requirements Click to read more


Essential Duties and Responsibilities
  • Gathers information and data and performs professional-level analysis, which may involve any or all of the following activities: receives initial notice of death from public or government agencies, initiates investigations, determines medical examiner’s jurisdiction, notifies and exchanges information with other public agencies when necessary, and receives and logs in all incoming bodies to the morgue.
  • May direct work of clerical and support staff. May train and assist newly assigned investigators or staff. May recommend actions or participate in implementation of departmental programs, policies, procedures, or other professional activities.
  • Troubleshoots and resolves problems and issues that may include responding day or night to death scene locations for on-scene investigation; driving a County vehicle to locations throughout Tarrant County when performing County business; traveling by any means necessary to conduct investigations and perform duties in areas of difficult accessibility, limited visibility and mobility, or adverse conditions; assuming control of and responsibility at crime scenes or other locations by coordinating and directing duties with patrol officers and crime scene officers; establishing identity of a deceased person; performing thorough investigations into the circumstances of a death; examining the body of the decedent and scene surroundings; assessing for signs of death and environmental variables; taking custody of money, valuables, and other property; listing and receipting personal property and evidence; arranging for removal of bodies to the morgue; being responsible for recognizing and preserving physical evidence, drugs, medical devices, related paraphernalia, and trace evidence and coordinating handling and collection of same with departmental criminalists or officers of other agencies; and using field photography, measuring, and other scene investigation tools as required.
  • Communicates with appropriate staff or citizens in performance of duties that may include such actions as notifying next-of-kin in deaths; establishing rapport through interviews with or assisting citizens or parties of interest; interviewing witnesses, friends, relatives, and suspects to obtain information about the decedent and circumstances of death and related matters; contacting representatives from other law enforcement and criminal justice entities for follow-up investigations; providing information to various agencies, obtaining information from governmental and private agencies, physicians, nurses, and other persons as needed, and relating that information to the death investigation; and obtaining medical history on deceased from family, physicians, and hospitals.
  • Documents, maintains, and updates required records, files, and statistics as such pertains to departmental and work group operations; studies evidence and submits as needed for professional examination; enters data into computerized records management system as required; prepares investigation and case reports of circumstances, pertinent data, and evidence for filing with the medical examiner’s office and other appropriate agencies including law enforcement, district attorney, hospitals, etc.; enters information related to the location of incident and death for completion of relevant portions of the death certificate in compliance with regulations of the state registrar of vital statistics; records case and departmental activities information in logs and ledgers; prepares and produces periodic management, investigative, or special reports. Files completed cases with the Medical Examiner’s and District Attorney's Offices.
  • Ensures compliance with any or all applicable laws, statutes, regulations, and policies and may update staff or work group on applicable changes. Provides information regarding state laws and codes as well as departmental policy and procedures in response to inquiries from members of the medical profession, law enforcement, governmental agencies, funeral homes, and the general public.
  • Testifies in court or under deposition regarding the findings of an investigation of the circumstances of death; prepares reports leading to search/seizure or arrest warrants, subpoenas, or other civil process documents; executes subpoena service; and acts as inquest court bailiff.
  • Works with funeral homes and crematories to troubleshoot death certificate discrepancies to meet Vital Statistics standards. Investigates cremation permit rejections to determine if trauma or foul play was involved in the death.
  • Monitors building security and safety by interacting with alarm companies, video cameras systems, call boxes, and door access systems. Assesses building emergencies and initiates appropriate actions.
  • Communicates, coordinates, and documents interactions with organ and tissue procurement organizations.
  • Operates and monitors radio systems for the Forensic Death Investigation and for building Facilities staff. Operates emergency vehicles and equipment as needed to respond to death scenes and disasters. Responds to Emergency Management disasters involving fatalities.
  • Utilizes civilian and law enforcement computer databases to further the inquest investigation goals. Uses forensic equipment to assist in the identification of the decedent.
  • Attends training as required from licensing or accreditation boards to include the American Board of Medicolegal Death Investigators (ABMDI), Texas Commission on Law Enforcement (TCOLE), and the National Association of Medical Examiner’s (NAME).
  • Performs all other related duties as assigned.

 Earn a Degree in Crime Scene Investigation, Forensic Science, Computer Forensics or Forensic Psychology


Minimum Requirements
  • Associate's degree or equivalent + three (3) years of police, coroner/medical examiner, or other field-based forensic death investigation experience.
  • OR
  • High School Diploma or GED + five (5) years of police, coroner/medical examiner, or other field-based forensic death investigation experience.

  • Field-based investigative experience must have included duties such as interviewing witnesses and participants, following leads, crime scene management, searching for physical evidence, documenting evidence, using evidence to substantiate findings and conclusions, examining records to detect relevant information, reconstructing events, preparing reports of investigative findings, and providing courtroom/deposition testimony.
  • Must have training from an approved source such as a police academy or related death investigation course.
  • Valid and current driver license.
  • Must have computer skills.
  • Must have a basic knowledge of medical and legal terminology, investigative procedures and techniques, and have the ability to communicate effectively both orally and in writing with a wide variety of individuals in order to investigate the circumstances, manner of death, cause of death, establish a decedent's true identity, and write acceptable and accurate reports of investigative findings.
  • Must have the ability to work a minimum of forty hours per week to include some weekends, holidays, and nights.
  • Must have the physical ability to respond quickly to emergency locations and to work extended shifts as necessary.
  • If hired, must provide proof of educational attainment at new hire processing.

  • Tarrant County will conduct background checks on new hires that will include a criminal background check related to convictions and deferred adjudication in the past seven years and may include credit reports, motor vehicle records, employment records and educational attainment. A conviction or deferred adjudication is not an automatic bar to employment. Each case is considered individually.
Physical Demands and Work Environment & Other Requirements
  • While performing the duties of this position, the incumbent is regularly required to bend, be exposed to burns, carry, climb, climb ladders, climb stairs, crawl, enter confined spaces, be exposed to electrical hazards, grasp/squeeze, use hand tools, use hazardous machinery, hear, tolerate hot and cold inside temperatures, keyboard, kneel, lift below the waist, lift between waist and shoulder, lift overhead, tolerate noise, tolerate hot and cold outside temperatures, pull, push, be exposed to radiation, reach, reach overhead, perform repetitive tasks, negotiate rough or uneven surfaces, see color, see far and near, sit, negotiate slippery surfaces, be exposed to solvents, squat, stand, stoop, talk, twist, use his/her hands, drive a vehicle, be exposed to vibration, walk, walk on an incline, use wide hand spread, work at heights, work alone and with others, and work overtime. There is exposure to inclement weather, violence from client families and bystanders, rough terrain, decomposed bodies, debris from burned structures, and body fluids associated with scene investigations. Scenes present unpredictable circumstances that occur in random fashion at any time of the day or night. Must be able to respond to emergency situations that may include the use of physical force to defend oneself or others. May be exposed to possible chemical hazards. May encounter bio-hazard exposures from various sources to include deceased human remains, blood, and tissue samples. May be required to demonstrate and pass requirements set forth in an agency Respiratory Protection Program involving the use of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) to include N-95 masks, Powered Air Purifying Respirator (PAPR), or Self Contained Breathing Apparatus (SCBA). This position is considered an essential worker and may be called upon to work at various times. Medical Examiner staff in the Investigation section work various shifts, 7-days a week, on weekends, and holidays. Overtime may be required at times. Investigation section staff members must be able to respond to the office during adverse weather conditions to include snow, ice, and disasters.

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Posted: May 23, 2023

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