Media Release Information

All information on this page has been requested by media.
 
For all media requesting information: e-mail to 
[email protected] . Note that this information will be updated periodically Monday through Friday 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., media should check back here for updates.

The postmortem report is confidential in the State of Washington (RCW 68.50.105). For family members of the deceased requesting information about obtaining postmortem reports, please call the Medical Examiner's Office at (509) 477-2296 or e-mail to [email protected].   

  • Note that this page will be archived in January of each year, archiving all release information from the previous year


                                                                               Toxicology Testing

In most cases the Spokane County Medical Examiner requests a toxicology analysis from the Washington State Toxicology Lab in Seattle. This typically involves sending blood and urine samples to the lab which then screens the samples for selected medications as well as common drugs of abuse and returns a report to our office. In the past this process typically has taken approximately eight to ten weeks, depending on the lab’s work load, staffing, and the complexity of the results.

**Update 08/07/2018**

In 2017, due to staffing and funding issues, the Washington State Toxicology Laboratory began experiencing backlogs with all toxicology results throughout the state. This backlog has continued throughout 2018 with no end in sight.

Unfortunately, the Spokane County Medical Examiner's Office has been affected by this backlog as have all other Medical Examiners send Coroners in the state. This office is currently unable to estimate the length of time required for toxicology results to  be returned from the Washington State Toxicology Laboratory.


                                                                          Suicide Prevention Information

Approximately 45,000 people die by suicide each year in the United States.

If you or someone you know is in crisis and may be experiencing suicidal thoughts, please contact the National Suicide Prevention Life line at

1-800-273-8255(TALK) or https://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/topics/suicide-prevention/index.shtml


                Or Text "Hello" to 741741 to talk with a trained helper at the Crisis Text Line

                                                    Or Call locally to First call for Help Crisis Hotline (509) 838-4428

                                                    Or Call 911

                                                    Or Walk into any hospital emergency room


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: 

_________________________________________________

SPOKANE COUNTY, January 16, 2019 - The Spokane County Medical Examiner has confirmed the identity and the cause of death of the woman who died at Sacred Heart Hospital on 01/12/2019 as the result of an
incident in at Silver Lake Rd & Granite Lake Rd in Medical Lake, WA on January 11, 2019

Name: Brenda Renee Gabriel
Age: 56 years
Cause of Death: Basilar skull fracture with brain contusions due to blunt impact to head
Manner: Accident

Any determination by the Medical Examiner of Suicide, Accident or Homicide in no way limits the ability of law enforcement to investigate to whatever extent they deem appropriate or necessary; nor is the manner of death as determined by a Medical Examiner the same as the prosecutor's legal determination, for example, most motor vehicle deaths are classified as "accident " by the Medical Examiner, however the prosecutor may pursue a legal charge of "vehicular homicide".

_________________________________________________

SPOKANE COUNTY, January 8, 2019 - The Spokane County Medical Examiner has confirmed the identity and the cause of death of the man who died as the result of an
incident in the 600 block of Montgomery Ave, in Spokane, WA on January 7, 2019

Name: David M. Novak
Age: 35 years
Cause of Death: Gunshot wound of the chest
Manner: Homicide


The death certificate in is a Washington State Health Department Document, NOT a Medical Examiner or Coroner document, the death certification process includes manner of death classification of (Accident, Homicide, Natural, Suicide, Undetermined), intended to describe the action associated with a death, if any, for public health department vital statistics purposes. The manner of death as used by the Office of the Medical Examiner does not address presence or absence of intent, culpability or justification of any action associated with a death and therefore any determination by the Medical Examiner of Suicide, Accident or Homicide in no way limits the ability of law enforcement to investigate to whatever extent they deem appropriate or necessary.

_________________________________________________








.





Definitions:

Cause of Death:
Cause of Death is used to indicate the medical cause of death, listing the disease(s) or injuries that caused death. Specific cause of death information is recorded on the death certificate and is entered into the Washington State Vital Statistic system.

Manner of Death:
Manner of Death is a statistical classification on the death certificate, the way in which death is categorized per the Washington State Department of Health (Accident, Homicide, Natural, Suicide, Undetermined).

Death Certification:
The Death certificate is a Washington State Health Department Document, NOT a Medical Examiner or Coroner document, the death certification process includes manner of death classification of (Accident, Homicide, Natural, Suicide, Undetermined), intended to describe the action associated with a death, if any, for public health department vital statistics purposes. The manner of death as used by the Office of the Medical Examiner does not address presence or absence of intent, culpability or justification of any action associated with a death and therefore any determination by the Medical Examiner of Suicide, Accident or Homicide in no way limits the ability of law enforcement to investigate to whatever extent they deem appropriate or necessary; nor is the manner of death as determined by a Medical Examiner the same as the prosecutor's legal determination, for example, most motor vehicle deaths are classified as "accident " by the Medical Examiner, however the prosecutor may pursue a legal charge of "vehicular homicide".

Accident - is defined as a death other than natural, where there is no evidence of intent, i.e. unintentional.

Homicide - is defined as a death due to the acts of another.

Natural - is defined as a death solely by organic disease. If natural death is hastened by injury (such as a fall), the manner of death will not be considered natural.

Pending - is a temporary designation for cause and/or manner when additional investigation, information and/or test results are required for certification. Pending is amended once all information and test results are received. 

Suicide - is defined as a death as the result of a purposeful action, with intent (explicit or implicit) to end one's life.

                 Suicide Prevention Information

Approximately 45,000 people die by suicide each year in the United States.
If you or someone you know is in crisis and may be experiencing suicidal thoughts, please contact the National Suicide Prevention Life line at

1-800-273-8255(TALK) or https://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/topics/suicide-prevention/index.shtml     

 

Text "Hello" to 741741 to talk with a trained helper at the Crisis Text Line Or

Call locally to First call for Help Crisis Hotline 

(509) 838-4428 Or

                                                                                                   Call 911 Or  

                            

Walk into any hospital emergency room

Undetermined - is the manner of death assigned when there is insufficient evidence or information to assign to accident, homicide, suicide or natural categories, or when 2 plausible manners are equally likely.

* When a death is un-witnessed the date of discovery is recorded as the date of death.

* See the Medical Examiner's Annual Report for details regarding causes and manner of death is Spokane County. 


The postmortem report is confidential in the State of Washington (RCW 68.50.105). For information about obtaining postmortem reports, please call the Medical Examiner's Office at (509) 477-2296 or e-mail to [email protected].