We understand your need to comprehend what has happened to your loved one and our Medical Examiners will provide the most accurate explanation in their autopsy report. Due to lab results and other extenuating factors, the final report may take 3 to 4 months. Feel free to call @ 865.215.8000 to check on the report status during our business hours: Monday thru Friday, 8am-4:30pm. Our compassionate staff will be happy to assist you.
You may pick up a copy of the final autopsy report for Knox and Anderson Counties at our office. For all other county requests, please contact your local county medical examiner’s office. You can find that information at: https://www.tn.gov/health/health-program-areas/oscme/county-medical-examiner.html. Please call ahead @ 865.215.8000 for pricing and requirements for Knox and Anderson County. If you would like a copy mailed to you please fill out the Request for Documents, (Link to REQUEST FOR AUTOPSY REPORT FOR KNOX & ANDERSON COUNTIES) make a copy of your government issued photo id card, and fax to 865.215.8001. Please call for pricing. Payment must be received before we can mail out. You may send a check or money order to: RFC, 2761 Sullins Street, Knoxville, TN 37919.
FOR THE FAMILIES
If your loved one has been taken to the Knox County Regional Forensic Center (RFC), an examination will be performed by the Medical Examiner to determine if an autopsy is necessary.
Please make note of the following information:
- RFC cannot permit viewing of decedents at the facility.
- If your loved one becomes a Medical Examiner case, the Medical Examiner will sign the death certificate.
- Please make arrangements with a funeral home of your choice or provide alternative instructions for your loved one’s burial.
- The funeral home will make arrangements with the RFC to pick up your family member once RFC has completed their examination.
- Decedent personal belongings will go with the decedent to the funeral home unless it is involved in an investigation.
- A copy of the autopsy report will be available in approximately 3-4 months.
- A death certificate will be provided from the funeral home.
THE FOLLOWING MAY ANSWER ANY QUESTIONS YOU MAY HAVE ABOUT “WHY” THE FORENSIC CENTER IS INVOLVED IN A DEATH…
“Death under suspicious, unusual or unnatural circumstances,” Tennessee Code Annotated (TCA) 38-7-108(a)(1)
- (a Any physician, undertaker, law enforcement officer, or other person having knowledge of the death of any person from violence or trauma of any type, suddenly when in apparent health, sudden unexpected death of infants and children, deaths of prisoners or persons in state custody, deaths on the job or related to employment, deaths believed to represent a threat to public health, deaths where neglect or abuse of extended care residents are suspected or confirmed, deaths where the identity of the person is unknown or unclear, deaths in any suspicious/unusual/unnatural manner, found dead, or where the body is to be cremated, shall immediately notify the county medical examiner or the district attorney general, the local police or the county sheriff, who in turn shall notify the county medical examiner The notification shall be directed to the county medical examiner in the county in which the death occurred.”
FOR THE FAMILIES
In the state of TN, there is no law stating that a funeral home must be involved in your loved ones burial. However, please check your local city/county guidelines for alternative ways of burial. There is also no law for embalming a body unless you are transporting out of state and funeral homes have the right to their own policies and procedures for viewing. If you are going to be transporting your loved ones across state lines, then you will need a transit permit. TN does not require a permit if you are transporting from one county to another. It is important to note that if you are requesting that your loved one be cremated, then according to TN law, the county medical examiner MUST be notified of any and all cremations. The following site gives a more in depth explanation of burial requirements in the state of TN. Please note: This handbook is not just for funeral directors, but for anyone with a burial question. http://tn.gov/regboards/funeral/documents/FuneralDirectorsHandbook-2012.pdf
You may want to donate your loved one’s body for education or research. Click here for more information
The Regional Forensic Center does not provide the original or copies of death certificates To obtain copies, please contact one of the following departments:Knox County Health Department Vital Records
140 Dameron Avenue
First Floor (behind security/information desk)
Knoxville, Tennessee 37917
Telephone: (865) 215-5100
Fax: (865) 215-5106
TDD: (865) 215-5001
Office Hours: 8:00 a.m.- 4:30 p.m., Monday thru Friday
Tennessee Vital Records
Central Services Building
421 5th Avenue North
Nashville, Tennessee 37247
Phone (615) 741-1763