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ME Investigator I

Travis County
Austin, TX
  • Posted: April 20, 2022
  • Full-Time
Job Summary

Under the general direction of the Medical Examiner Investigator Chief, performs investigation of deaths occurring in Travis County, which fall under the jurisdiction of the Travis County Medical Examiner's Office. As to Travis County cases, locates the legal next of kin and arranges for the necessary notifications. For cases originating outside Travis County, locates necessary medical records and information, and may make contact with out-of-county law enforcement to obtain necessary background information.


This is the first in a series of five investigator-related job classifications within the Medical Examiner job family. Incumbents perform moderately complex duties while performing death investigations. Duties require a moderate degree of initiative and independent judgment. This classification is distinguished from the Medical Examiner Investigator II in that incumbents typically have less experience, and typically specialize in conducting less complex death investigations. This classification requires a flexible work schedule in order to meet the needs of the department.

Duties and Responsibilities

  • Investigates the physical and medical aspects of natural and unnatural deaths by responding to scenes or taking reports over the telephone, which will provide the Medical Examiner with a basis on which to determine the cause and manner of death.
  • Receives notification of deaths and establishes whether death is within the jurisdiction of the Medical Examiner's office using standardized guidelines.
  • Performs death scene investigations by attending the scene, interviewing and cooperating with various law enforcement and government agencies, family and friends of the decedent. Photographs the scene, collects evidence, accompanies the decedent back to the morgue, aides in moving the decedent, and follows up with the capture of medical and personal history of the decedent.
  • Compiles initial reports, supplemental reports, documenting the physical and medical aspects observed at the death site and on the body of decedent.
  • Secures and takes inventory of property and clothing found on the decedent. Assists in the identification of deceased through non-medical and medical means. Personally assures notification of death to decedent's next-of-kin through interaction with families, victim services or via teletype through police agencies. Photographs, documents, and makes disposition of decedent clothing and property.
  • Communicates death investigation findings to pathologists.
  • Prepares detailed reports for pathologists prior to autopsy.
  • Takes liver temperatures.
  • On occasion, may drive body-transport vehicle to transport decedents from scene or hospital to morgue.
  • Releases case information in compliance with department policy. Gathers and reviews medical history/records of decedents for case file.
  • Operates cadaver lift, as required.
  • Provides building security for the medical examiner's office after normal business hours.
  • May maintain vehicles.
  • Performs preventative maintenance on all investigative equipment and safety apparel.
  • Attends investigator training.
  • Provides courtroom testimony as needed.
  • Performs other job-related duties as assigned.

Minimum Requirements

Education and Experience:
Bachelor's degree in nursing, a biological science, criminal justice or a related field AND one (1) year of directly related, experience in medical or criminal or death investigation, or a medically-affiliated experience;


Any combination of education and experience that has been achieved and is equivalent to the stated education and experience and required knowledge, skills, and abilities sufficient to successfully perform the duties and responsibilities of this job.

Licenses, Registrations, Certifications, or Special Requirements:
ABMDI Registry Level Certification within two (2) years of date of hire
Valid Texas Driver's License.

ABMDI Registry Level Certification or eligible for such upon date of hire.
Bilingual in English and Spanish

Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities:

Knowledge of:

  • Investigative techniques.
  • Medical terminology.
  • Operation of digital camera.
  • Policies, practices, procedures and terminology of assigned function.
  • Principles and procedures of record keeping.
  • Computer equipment to include word processing, spreadsheets, databases and a variety of software packages.
  • Good skills in English composition and spelling, basic skills in arithmetic.
  • Article 49.25 of the Texas Code of Criminal Procedure.
  • Safe practices in field investigations.
  • Safe practices in a morgue environment.
Skill in:
  • Investigating deaths and processing death scenes.
  • Working with law enforcement and other related parties.
  • Dealing with distraught, upset or violent family members.
  • Writing, recording and compiling material for accurate reports.
  • Use and care of equipment.
  • Effective verbal and written communication.
Ability to:
  • Deal with death-related environment daily and unpleasant odors associated with autopsies.
  • Write concise findings related to death investigations.
  • Work in morgue environment with daily contact with decedents, including those in a decomposed state.
  • Work independently.
  • Work on a wide variety of tasks simultaneously and produce timely and tangible results.
  • Exercise sound judgment and make sound decisions.
  • Perform in a stressful environment, while maintaining a professional manner.
  • Establish and maintain effective working relationships with departmental clientele, representatives of outside agencies, other County employees and officials, and the general public.

Work Environment & Other Information

Physical requirements include the ability to lift up to 75-100 pounds and to maneuver cadavers unassisted in excess of 200 pounds. Requires visual acuity, speech and hearing, hand and eye coordination, and manual dexterity necessary to operate laboratory equipment and basic office equipment and computer. Subject to standing, walking, sitting, repetitive motion, reaching, climbing stairs, bending, stooping, kneeling, crouching, crawling, pushing, pulling, balancing, client/customer contact, squatting to perform the essential functions. At times requires driving and exposure to outdoor conditions. Subject to various biological/infectious, chemical, mechanical, electrical, explosive and radiation hazards in indoors/outdoors work, and exposure to fumes, noxious odors and toxic wastes. Exposure to computer monitors. Daily contact with biohazardous materials. Exposure to high job demand stress. Must possess sufficient physical strength and emotional stability to work under adverse conditions.

Travis County employees play an important role in business continuity. As such, employees can be assigned to business continuity efforts outside of normal job functions.

This job description is intended to be generic in nature. It is not necessarily an exhaustive list of all duties and responsibilities. The essential duties, functions and responsibilities and overtime eligibility may vary based on the specific tasks assigned to the position.

Department: Medical Examiner

Work Location: 7723 Springdale Road, Austin, Texas

Work Hours: 10pm-8am; workdays vary; works some weekends and holidays 

Criminal and Driving background verifications are required 

Travis County


Austin, TX
78701 USA



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