Heather (sydneygb) wrote in little_details,
Heather
sydneygb
little_details

Jurisdiction in forensic autopsy

If a wanted criminal, someone high on the FBI's Most Wanted list, was murdered by an unknown assailant, who would have the jurisdiction over the autopsy? I presume that a forensic would be ordered because 1) he's been murdered and 2) he's a wanted criminal. The man in question is not a US citizen, but he's murdered in Washington, DC.

In my (yet embryonic) story, there's some subterfuge over the body: people who shouldn't have possession of the body finagle a way to get jurisdiction for the autopsy, then remove the body to a location of their choosing and do whatever with it. These folks have a high level of resources available to them that allows them to fake legal paperwork or otherwise manipulate the legal systems to get what they want.

I envision a scene in which the 'proper' medical examiner getting ready to do the autopsy when the interlopers burst in waving their paperwork and demanding to take possession of the body immediately. I expect a superior would need to examine the fake paperwork, as the ME wouldn't be able to authorise such a transfer.

How does this sound to those of you in the know? What sort of details do I need to chase down to make a (brief) scene seem plausible to your average reader?

Thanks much in advance for any help you can give me on this.
Tags: usa: government: law enforcement: fbi, usa: washington dc, ~forensics: corpses
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