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The Process

The police usually interview relatives and others, such as the deceased’s doctor, to gather information about the circumstances of the death, including recent medical history.

The nearest relative may be asked to identify the deceased before a post-mortem examination is carried out. This normally involves going to the mortuary and identifying the deceased to police officers or the pathologist. This can be upsetting, but it is a necessary part of the investigation of the death.

Everything possible is done to help relatives through this process.


To read about the Role of the Procurator Fiscal in the investigation of Deaths and advice for relatives, please view our publications page.