Medical examiner’s workload increases

Dr. Quinn Strobl of the Midwest Medical Examiner’s Office in Ramsey told county commissioners at their May 21 meeting that her office investigated 164 deaths in Mille Lacs County in 2012, a slight increase over 2011.

Strobl, the county’s medical examiner, makes an annual report to commissioners.

She said 35 percent (58) of the deaths required a scene investigation and jurisdiction was assumed in 41 cases.

Her office performed 26 autopsies, four more than the previous year.

Eleven of the deaths that required an autopsy were due to natural causes, all of the deaths resulting from cardiovascular disease, the ages ranging from 44 to 93.

Twelve of the deaths were classified as accidental, three of them motor vehicle-related.

Four people, ranging in age from 80 to 102, died from complications due to falls.

There was one death from drowning and four who died due to drug and/or alcohol toxicity.

Five deaths were ruled to be suicides. All were males and ranged in age from 35 to 72.

There were no homicides last year and two deaths were classified as undetermined in the manner of death. A three-month-old infant’s death was associated with unsafe sleeping conditions and an 86-year-old died when his vehicle crashed into a tree.

Strobl said her office has taken on two new counties and now does work for 12 of Minnesota’s 87 counties.