Midland County Death Investigators
In Texas, the duty of performing an inquest, in most counties, falls on the Justice of the Peace, as stated in Chapter 49 of the Code of Criminal Procedure.
Some counties have chosen to employ specially trained individuals to assist with the inquest load. These individuals are called death investigators. They are paid by the commissioners court and serve at their will. A death investigator works on an inquest when requested by the Justice of the Peace. A finalized report containing activities, findings, and conclusions shall be provided to the Justice of the Peace within eight hours of the death being investigated by a death investigator.
Code of Criminal Procedure Art. 49.23.
The Midland County Office of Death Investigators was established by the Commissioners Court on October 1, 2019, under the direct supervision of the four Midland County Justice of the Peace. The fundamental duty of the death investigators is to assist the person conducting an inquest to investigate the time, place, and manner of death and complete a report of the death investigator’s activities, findings, and conclusions to the Justice of the Peace or other person conducting the inquest.
The official definition of an inquest from Texas law is: “an investigation into the cause and circumstances of the death of a person and a determination made with or without a formal court hearing, as to whether the death was caused by an unlawful act or omission.” Code of Criminal Procedure Art. 49.01 (2).
The death investigators will be recognized for striving to adopt new scientific and investigative methods to evaluate the scene, the body, and the decedent’s history, providing the Justice of the Peace with evidence of cause, timing, and manner of the death.
The investigators are dedicated men and women with a calling to assist the Justice of the Peace and other law enforcement agencies in investigating deaths, including homicides, suicides, accidental, suspicious, and unattended deaths that fall under their jurisdiction.
Professionalism: As law enforcement professionals, we live and work in a fishbowl; the world is watching. Therefore, the investigator’s conduct and demeanor display the highest standard of personal excellence.
Honesty: Investigators are dedicated to searching for the truth in each case, striving to be honest, just, and courteous to every person with whom they come in contact.
Integrity: It is critical to adhere to moral and ethical principles when conducting an investigation of a tragic event such as a death. The investigation of the death should reflect objective, independent observations based on factual determinations, giving an honest and unbiased report no matter how that report affects those involved