Information for Families

Please accept our sincere condolences for your loss. Our hearts go out to your family during this time of sadness and grief.

This information is intended to answer many of the procedural questions you may have in the coming days. While we make a sincere effort to accommodate the requests of the decedent or the family, in certain circumstances, we may be unable to do so given the provisions of Arizona State Law, law enforcement, or public health implications involved in a case. 

Under Arizona State Law, the Medical Examiner is both required and empowered to determine the cause and manner of certain deaths. However, be assured that we do our job with the utmost dignity and professionalism.

MORTUARY INFORMATION

While we are unable to refer you to a specific funeral home, below you will find contact information for all funeral homes available in Pinal County and Gila County. You may also choose a mortuary located outside of Pinal County. 

BIOHAZARD CLEAN-UP SERVICES

Please be advised that the PCMEO and its employees are unable to recommend or provide a “review” of a particular biohazard clean-up service. This list is offered as a resource only.

Indigent Burials

The Pinal County Public Fiduciary’s Office provides for indigent cremations in accordance with Arizona Revised Statutes, §36-831. For further information and qualification requirements, please call the Public Fiduciary's office at 520-866-7252 and ask to speak with someone regarding the Indigent Burials. 

Death Certificate

You may request certified copies of the death certificate from the County Department of Public Health under Vital RecordsArizona is a “closed record” state. Vital records are not public records. All requestors must be 18 years of age or older.

Who may obtain a death certificate?  

  • Spouse or immediate family member
  • Attorney representing an estate
  • Attorney representing family members
  • Attorney representing persons with a legal interest
  • Non-attorney legal interest/other vital interest
  • Third-party
  • Private investigator
  • Genealogical researcher

Request for Identification meeting 

In accordance with Arizona Revised Statute (ARS 11-597.01), an immediate family member who either questions the decedent's identification or otherwise wishes to assist in making positive identification may make a written or electronic request for an identification meeting to the Medical Examiner. Identification meetings will occur within forty-eight hours, excluding weekends and legal holidays. At the identification meeting, viewing of photographs or distinguishing marks of the deceased will be performed with the purpose of establishing or confirming identity. 

Additional Information

Under Arizona Revised Statutes (ARS) 11-593, the Medical Examiner is both required and empowered to determine the cause and manner of certain deaths. While we make a sincere effort to accommodate the requests of the decedent and the decedent’s family, in certain circumstances, we may be unable to do so given the provisions of Arizona law, law enforcement jurisdiction, or public health implications involved in a case. 

Your loved one's remains will be available for release soon after completion of the postmortem examination and upon the receipt of a signed “Authority to Release Remains” form from the representative of the mortuary or other service (e.g., cremation society, transportation service) designated in the authorization. The release form must be executed by the legal next-of-kin authorized by law to direct the disposition of the remains. This person sometimes differs from persons or legal entities authorized to handle other aspects of the decedent's affairs. The mortuary normally provides the signed release form to the PCMEO after obtaining authorization from the legal next of kin. The mortuary will also request certain vital statistics/demographic information from the next of kin that must be recorded on the death certificate. Please note that we are unable to refer you to a specific mortuary. A local list of mortuaries are available on our website.