How do I request an autopsy report?

Medical Examiner reports are confidential per Iowa Code 22.7 and can only be released to the legal next of kin, defined by Iowa Code as the surviving spouse and heirs at law of the deceased. The rules of inheritance are defined in Iowa Code 633.211-226.

How to get a copy of an autopsy report (autopsy reports are only available after the case has been closed by our office, this is an average of 6-8 weeks):

  • To obtain an autopsy report, you must be the legal next of kin.
  • Write to the Polk County Medical Examiner and indicate in writing (one sentence), your relationship with the decedent.
  • Indicate in the same letter, the name of the deceased and date of death.
  • Indicate that you are requesting the autopsy report and would like one copy.
  • Include the mailing address of where the autopsy report should be sent.
  • Sign and date the letter.
  • Mail your letter to (You may also hand deliver the letter in person):

Polk County Medical Examiner
1801 Hickman Road
Des Moines, IA 50314

  • It takes an average of 6-8 weeks for the report to be available.