Dealing With The Authorities After A Suicide

After losing a loved one to suicide there are many authorities that will become involved.  Many families have not had to deal with the police or legal process and can be overwhelmed by the crime scene process.  The medical examiner is often called in to examine the scene and may conduct an autopsy of your loved one.  Here are some documents that help to explain what will likely happen when and who you can contact for more information.

Dealing With The Authorities After  A Suicide Death

    • Resource: 15 page PDF
    • Summary:  This document by the NJ Department of Criminal Justice outlines how the survivors of a suicide or other sudden death should be treated.  These guidelines are for the police when working with you.

      • Resource: Webpage
      • Summary:  Webpage that explains the Open Public Records Act in NJ and how you can get a police report.

    • Resource: 2 page PDF
    • Summary:  This is a simple brochure that explains how the coronor and the autopsy process works in New Jersey.

    • Resource: 1 page PDF
    • Summary:  This is the form you need to fill out to receive a copy of the autopsy results of your loved one.  This can often take 3-4 months before the report is available.

    • Resource: Website
    • Summary: Frequently asked questions about the autopsy process and how the medical examiner's office works. 

    • Resource: Webpage
    • Resource: 5 min Podcast
    • Summary:  It is common for drugs and alcohol to be found during the autopsy process.  Here are some statistics about the results of drug and alcohol use found after suicides.

    • Resource: 50 page PDF
    • Summary: Contact information for every law enforcement agency in NJ

    • Resource: 1 page PDF
    • Summary: Contact information for medical examiners in NJ

  • What to Do When the Police Leave : A Guide to the First Days of Traumatic Loss -- Third Edition
  • Author: Bill Jenkins
      • Resource: 160 page Book
      • Summary: Written by a victim for other victims and their caregivers, this book offers authoritative and invaluable advice, guidance, and resources for families dealing with the traumatic loss of a family member or friend. New to this edition are sections on crime scene cleanup, unsolved cases, grief in the workplace, a new chapter entitled "Long-Term Grief: Living The Marathon," and a Foreword by best-selling author Patricia Cornwell.  Finalist in the category of Best First Book in the Publishers Marketing Association's Benjamin Franklin Awards 2000, "What To Do When The Police Leave" is being used by victim assistance programs, clergy, funeral homes, and police departments across North America as they work with and serve the bereaved. It is recognized as one of the most valuable resources available for grieving families. This one of a kind resource is heart-to-heart practical advice from one who has been through the trenches of grief and loss, encouraging and helping others in their own paths. The victims' voice has never spoken so clearly.