Medical Examiner's Office

Medical Examiner's Office

 Vonnice L. Joels, D-ABMDI, Medical Investigator 

Jamie J. Parker, Medical Investigator

Phone: 315-786-3755

Fax: 315-786-3791

Mission Statement

The Jefferson County Medical Examiner’s Office is authorized to investigate deaths that fall under New York State County Law, Article 17A, Section 670. Our goal is to provide answers for those affected by sudden and traumatic loss, and help improve the public health, safety and well-being of our residents.


Once Medical Examiner jurisdiction is established, it is our responsibility to determine the cause and manner of death, produce an autopsy report, and issue a death certificate. The cause of death is the disease process or injury that results in the person’s death. The manner of death indicates how the death occurred and includes designations of accident, homicide, natural, suicide, or undetermined.

Deaths that should be reported to the Medical Examiner's Office:

Pursuant to New York State County Law, Article 17A, Section 673, the medical examiner has jurisdiction and authority to investigate the death of every person dying within his/her county, or whose body is found within the county, which is or appears to be:

  • A violent death, whether by criminal violence, suicide or casualty;
  • A death caused by unlawful act or criminal neglect;
  • A death occurring in a suspicious, unusual or unexplained manner;
  • A death while unattended by a physician, so far as can be discovered, or where no physician able to certify the cause of death as provided in the public health law and in form as prescribed by the commissioner of health can be found;
  • A death of a person confined in a public institution other than a hospital, infirmary or nursing home.

For more information please see our  Medical Examiner's Office FAQ or call our office during normal business hours; Monday-Friday 8am-4:30pm.