There are no set office hours as the Adams County Medical Examiner's Office is on-call 24 hours a day 365 days a year. To make an appointment or to inquire about an investigation, you may leave a message at the Medical Examiner's Office at any time at 608-339-4524. Please provide your name, the name of the deceased and your relationship to the deceased, along with a short message. The Medical Examiner will return your call at the earliest opportunity. Keep in mind that, while we do our best to keep families informed, we may not be able to answer all questions if the investigation is incomplete or if release of the information would compromise an active investigation.
Bethany Spaw, Chief Deputy Medical Examiner
Jessica Wagner, Deputy Medical Examiner
Anthony Soik, Deputy Medical Examiner
P.O. Box 278
Friendship, WI 53934
A message from the Adams County Chief Medical Examiner Marilyn Rogers:
The Adams County Medical Examiner's Office investigates deaths as mandated by Wisconsin state statute 979.01 to ensure the safety, health and welfare of the community. The office provides investigation, documentation, and medical evaluation of reportable cases. The Medical Examiner's Office, as defined by state statute, is not part of any police agency, Sheriff's Department, or hospital.
Our top priority is to honor the deceased while serving the living. We accomplish this by connecting with the family of the deceased and assisting them in dealing with their loss. We understand the loss of a loved one is a tremendous shock for family and friends. Once the deceased is under our jurisdiction, we provide family with appropriate information on all procedures. We attempt to comfort grieving family by providing relevant and informative literature and resources.
The primary job of the Medical Examiner's Office is to determine an unbiased cause and manner of death. This is accomplished through careful examination and gathering of evidence at the death scene. When needed our department provides testimony in criminal matters for the District Attorney’s Office or the Public Defender. Beyond the service and care we provide for families and individuals affected by death, we also take an active part in the communities we serve.
Through autopsies, our findings help physicians gain insight into the success or failure of medical treatments, thus educating the future generation of forensic science tests and physicians. Our office collects data for organizations that conduct studies, and vital statistics thereby alerting the community to potential safety hazards.
This site is designed to help you. It lists important information about how our office works and the procedures we follow; what you should do if you are faced with a sudden tragedy and other important resources to help you through the difficult time of grief. Above all, remember that the Adams County Medical Examiner's Office is here to assist you 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
In the event of a loss of a loved one, please accept my most sincere condolences to you during this most difficult time. I assure you that you and your loved one will be treated with the utmost respect and dignity.
Marilyn Rogers, D-ABMDI
WHAT THE MEDICAL EXAMINERS DO (IN A NUTSHELL):
While each investigation is different, some of the same activities occur.
Perform legal pronouncement of death and establish legal time of death.
Conduct interviews and obtain information.
Document any past medical history, present medical history, hospitalization, doctors, treatments, etc.
Determine identity of deceased. We use all resources available to find out the name address and next of kin; document the next of kin in the relationship; make notification to next of kin if needed.
Observe the environment and examine the deceased; what are the environmental conditions surrounding the body and the relationship of evidence and/or other articles or objects to the deceased. Scratch that; the position of the deceased, the location, and their condition.
Determine if the person was moved before we came to the scene and if so why.
Make a preliminary examination of the deceased with particular attention to identifying marks and external evidence of trauma.
Conduct a complete examination to determine estimated time of death noting such things as temperature, rigor, lividity, decomposition.
Collect and/or record evidence and observe and note all physical evidence on the person's body.
Ensure that any medications or drugs, along with any printed/written material related to the cause of death are taken for additional examination and inventory.
Photographed the deceased before and after examination. Obtain information about the deceased's next of kin or any legal documents regarding pertinent instructions.
Recover, inventory, and safeguard all personal effects and secure the home/apartment until next of kin can be located and notified.
Supervise proper, respectful removal from the scene and protect the dignity of the deceased at all times.