District 21 Medical Examiner Office
Report Deaths to 239-277-5020

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Cases under our jurisdiction are transported by Transcon to the District 21 Medical Examiner Office at 70 Danley Drive in Fort Myers.  Depending on the particulars of the case, the Medical Examiner performs either an external examination (called a narrative) or an autopsy.  The narrative or autopsy is usually performed within hours after arrival at our facility.  The Medical Examiner then pronounces the Manner and Cause of death.  

The classifications for Manner of Death are:

In some cases the determination of manner and cause of death will be dependent on additional testing for toxicology or microscopy.  These tests can take up to several months to complete.  In the interim, the cause and manner of death will be pending.

After the narrative or autopsy is complete, the body may then be released to a funeral home selected by the Next-of-Kin. Next-of-Kin is determined in the following order:

Spouse >> Children >> Parents >> Siblings >> Closest Relative

The legal next-of-kin can delegate responsibility to anyone they choose.  In the absence of next-of-kin or if the next-of-kin doesn't wish or can't afford to make funeral arrangements, Lee County ultimately arranges for burial or cremation of the decedent through the Indigent Burial/Cremation Program.

Once the body has been released to a funeral home, the funeral director gathers information about the decedent from the family and forwards that information to the Medical Examiners Office.  We use that information to issue a Florida Certificate of Death.  The Medical Examiners Office does not release Death Certificates to the family or general public.  The funeral home files the Death Certificate with the Lee County Health Department Office of Vital Statistics.  The funeral home can provide the family with copies of the official Death Certificate.  The family or general public may also request a copy of the Death Certificate from the Lee County Health Department Office of Vital Statistics.

The District 21 Medical Examiner serves Lee, Hendry, and Glades counties.  The addresses and phone numbers of the respective county Offices of Vital Statistics are listed here for your convenience.

Lee County Health Department
Office of Vital Statistics
83 Pondella Rd
North Fort Myers, Florida 33903 
(239) 332 -9572

Hendry County Health Department
Office of Vital Statistics
P.O. Box 70
Labelle, Florida  33975-0070

Glades County Health Department
Office of Vital Statistics
P.O. BOX 489
Moore Haven, FL 33471

After the Medical Examiner determines the manner and cause of death, an Autopsy Report is completed.  Anyone may request an autopsy report.

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