Full Job Description


Public Health Seattle and King County is looking for people who are interested in becoming Forensic Medicolegal Death Investigators with the Medical Examiner’s Office. If you have not heard of this type of position before, but are intrigued – please keep reading! This position will work in the Investigations section, a dynamic group of 14 dedicated individuals who work 24/7/365. The positions will perform field and office activities related to the investigation of sudden, unexpected, and suspicious deaths.

Who May Apply: This position is open to all qualified candidates. King County Career Service and Term-limited temporary Employees will be given additional consideration.

This position will be used to to fill up to two positions

Work Schedule: Investigators typically work 4, 10 hour shifts per week. This is a 24/7/365 office, with schedules chosen by seniority. New investigators train on various shifts, and then will move to night shift.

Work Location: These positions will be based at Harborview Medical Center, Medical Examiner’s Office located at 908 Jefferson St. Seattle WA 98104, and respond to scenes throughout the county.

Application Process: The following completed items are required to be considered for this vacancy:

  • NEOGOV/Government Jobs on-line or paper application
  • Supplemental Questions. To be considered must answer with complete, thorough answers. Answers that say “see resume” will be considered incomplete.
  • A letter of interest

Your application may be rejected as incomplete if you do not include the standard information in the application. If you reference “see resume” on your application it will be considered incomplete. You must completely fill out the application with your relevant education and work experience. The selection process may include but is not limited to: evaluation of application materials and supplemental questions, interviewing, and testing. For more information on our selection process, please refer to www.kingcounty.gov/depts/health/jobs/hiring

Contact: For more information about the application process, please contact Debbie Baker debbaker@kingcounty.gov


Job Duties


  • Respond to and investigate death scenes; photograph, collect, and document evidence;
  • Lift and transport human remains, weighing an average of 175 lbs, in various stages of mutilation and decomposition;
  • Adhere to county mandated protocols regarding control and documentation of personal property;
  • Document chain of evidence, and adhere to KCMEO process and protocols pertaining to collection and security of evidence;
  • Effectively interview family members, witnesses, and notify next of kin of a death;
  • Effectively gather and interpret medical records;
  • Conduct investigations-typically by phone-to locate next of kin and arrange disposition of remains;
  • Complete detailed investigative reports;
  • Use KCMEO-specific software;
  • Work closely with law enforcement, medical providers, and legal agencies;
  • Release human remains and property to funeral homes;

Being an investigator calls on a broad range of personal attributes from the physical, to the intellectual, to the emotional—and an investigator needs to be good at all of them.

  • The ability to talk to and get information from a wide range of people about uncomfortable topics, in stressful situations.
  • The ability to think on your feet – assess a situation and determine what needs to be done and how.
  • While staff are not expected to have in depth knowledge of anatomy, physiology, and legal and medical terminology before being hired, it is essential that staff have some grounding in the subjects, learn quickly, and constantly update their knowledge.
  • The ability to lift and maneuver a human body out of often tight spaces, and remove them with appropriate strength, leverage, respect and dignity.
  • While the “in-the-field” aspect of this job is important, investigators spend the majority of their time in the office calling families and notifying them of death, researching to find next of kin, etc.


Experience, Qualifications, Knowledge, Skills


  • A basic knowledge of human anatomy and physiological functions
  • Ability to gain legal and medical terminology, and health and safety requirements relating to decomposed bodies during the first months of employment
  • Ability to investigate and photograph death scenes, gather evidence; transport human remains, and secure, document, and control personal property and evidence
  • Ability to lift, maneuver, and handle human remains averaging 175lbs, in various stages of mutilation and decomposition
  • Ability to interview witnesses and family members, often in the midst of trauma, accurately document chain of evidence, gather information, and maintain detailed and accurate records
  • Ability to communicate effectively orally and in writing, and work with clients of diverse socio-economic and cultural backgrounds in a respectful and compassionate manner
  • Ability to establish and maintain effective relationships with staff, co-workers, law enforcement, prosecuting attorneys and members of the public of different cultural backgrounds
  • Ability to work reliably as a member of a multi-faceted professional team
  • Ability to maintain confidentiality at all times

Fluency in a language other than English that is commonly spoken by monolingual residents in King County.


Supplemental Information

KCMEO staff are considered Mission Critical employees, and our office continues to operate at full capacity in inclement weather, public health emergencies, etc.
These positions are not eligible for remote work.
Staff may be required to play an active role in the event of a public health emergency, which may include changes in responsibilities and working hours.

The selected candidate will be required to pass a background investigation.

The selected candidate will be required to pass a pre-employment physical

Employees are required to protect the privacy and security of protected health information as defined in State and Federal Law.

Employees are required to adhere to OSHA/WISHA guidelines including but not limited to completing their mandatory trainings on time.

Job Category: Others
Company: King County
Job Type: Part Time
Education: Bachelor's Degree
Job Location: Seattle Washington
Experience: 2 - 5 years
Apply Now