Florida Statute 406 establishes a statewide Medical Examiner system of death investigation. The state is divided into 24 districts with a medical examiner assigned to each one. The County of Volusia is designated District 7.
406.11 Examinations, investigations, and autopsies.—
(1) In any of the following circumstances involving the death of a human being, the medical examiner of the district in which the death occurred or the body was found shall determine the cause of death and shall, for that purpose, make or have performed such examinations, investigations, and autopsies as he or she shall deem necessary or as shall be requested by the state attorney:
(a) When any person dies in the state:
1. Of criminal violence.
2. By accident.
3. By suicide.
4. Suddenly, when in apparent good health.
5. Unattended by a practicing physician or other recognized practitioner.
6. In any prison or penal institution.
7. In police custody.
8. In any suspicious or unusual circumstance.
9. By criminal abortion.
10. By poison.
11. By disease constituting a threat to public health.
12. By disease, injury, or toxic agent resulting from employment.
(b) When a dead body is brought into the state without proper medical certification.
(c) When a body is to be cremated, dissected, or buried at sea.
(2) (a) The district medical examiner shall have the authority in any case coming under subsection (1) to perform, or have performed, whatever autopsies or laboratory examinations he or she deems necessary and in the public interest to determine the identification of or cause or manner of death of the deceased or to obtain evidence necessary for forensic examination.
(b) The Medical Examiners Commission shall adopt rules, pursuant to chapter 120, providing for the notification of the next of kin that an investigation by the medical examiner’s office is being conducted. A medical examiner may not retain or furnish any body part of the deceased for research or any other purpose which is not in conjunction with a determination of the identification of or cause or manner of death of the deceased or the presence of disease or which is not otherwise authorized by this chapter, part V of chapter 765, or chapter 873, without notification of and approval by the next of kin.