The decision to perform an autopsy is made by the Boulder County Coroner in accordance with Colorado State Statute and standards of forensic pathology. Forensic autopsies are performed by a certified forensic pathologist.
The circumstances of the death and other associated factors contribute to the decision as to whether or not to perform an autopsy. Not all deaths require an autopsy, and autopsies are not performed in every investigation. If you feel strongly about a forensic autopsy being performed, whether you want one or do not, please contact the Boulder County Coroner’s Office directly and convey this information.
Notification Regarding an Autopsy
A staff member from the Boulder County Coroner’s Office will be in contact with you prior to post-mortem examination in order to discuss the details of what will happen and the reasons for the decision. At this time, if you have any questions or concerns, please ask a staff member and they will be able to assist you and address your requests.
Due to the thorough and complete nature of a forensic autopsy and any associated testing that accompanies the process, the resultant findings normally take approximately eight to ten weeks to be published. This timeframe is an estimate and each case may differ slightly. You will be contacted at key points during the process by a representative of the Coroner’s Office so that you are kept informed and are able to ask any questions that you might have. You are also welcome to contact the Boulder County Coroner’s Office with any questions you have during the process.
Once the final autopsy report becomes available, a representative of the Coroner’s Office will contact you and share the findings with you. At this time you may request a copy of the autopsy report and one will be mailed to you.
Private Party Autopsies
If the coroner decides against an autopsy for your family member, you, as the legal next-of-kin, can pursue an autopsy through a private party. A forensic pathologist may be hired for your private autopsy and the cost may be up to $5000.