Gone but not forgotten — 2019

Every few years, the King County Medical Examiner’s Office (KCMEO) hosts a unique memorial to ensure that every King County resident is remembered. Those who died without resources or family to claim their remains for a proper burial are looked after through the work of the county’s indigent remains program. The next ceremony to remember these individuals […]

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Recognizing deaths among people experiencing homelessness

Nearly 3,000 deaths are investigated by the King County Medical Examiner’s Office (KCMEO) every year. And for more than a decade, the Medical Examiner has partnered with the Health Care for the Homeless program to research and identify which of those people were presumed to be experiencing homelessness.
“We do this work to help the community both pay attention and remember. When people are remembered, they are treated with more dignity,” said John Gilvar, program manager for Health Care for the Homeless, which is part of Public Health—Seattle & King County.

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Public’s help needed to identify person found dead in King County

The King County Medical Examiner’s Office is seeking the public’s help to identify a person who died in King County, and is releasing a sketch of the individual to assist. The unidentified person was presumed to be homeless and found dead outdoors on January 12, 2019 in the 700 block of 1st Street, Kirkland. The cause […]

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What we learned from those we lost in 2017

When people die suddenly, unexpectedly or unnaturally in King County, their cause and manner of death is reviewed by our Medical Examiner. This review process helps us understand what happened to a given individual, but it also helps us identify, from a public health perspective, trends in death that our department can work to address. […]

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Cold cases: Help identify unknown people found dead in King County

The King County Medical Examiner’s Office is hoping forensic sketches of people who have died will help lead to their identification. At any given time, there are about 40,000 unidentified remains in the United States –  around 50 in King County. Washington’s only forensic anthropologist, Dr. Kathy Taylor, investigates these remains with help from law […]

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New Overdose Data Suggest Epidemic Outpacing Response

In the US, more people now die each year from drug overdoses than died at the peak of the AIDS epidemic, more than died during the entire Vietnam War. Drug overdose is now the leading cause of death for Americans under 50 years of age, and the epidemic cost the US an estimated $117 billion in 2017 alone.  Here are some key findings from our report and my perspective on actions we need to take in order to see this epidemic come under control.

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