Cobb County Government

My loved one/family member/friend has recently passed away and is at the Medical Examiner’s Office. What happens next?

Once the deceased has arrived at the Medical Examiner’s Office, an autopsy or external examination will be performed, usually the next business day. The legal next of kin should contact a funeral home or crematorium as soon as he or she learns of the death to make final arrangements and sign a written release giving the Medical Examiner’s Office permission to release the body to the funeral home.

Once the examination/investigation has been completed, the body will be released to the funeral home and arrangements can continue. In most cases the decedent can be released the same day as the examination unless there are extenuating circumstances, such as issues of identification.