Just Family Support During Death Investigations

Just Family Support During Death Investigations

Original Release Date: March 10, 2023

In episode three of our Supporting Medicolegal Death Investigators mini season, Just Science sat down with Rebecca Reid, Laramie County Coroner in Wyoming, and Meghan Clarke, Family Advocate Coordinator at the Denver Office of the Medical Examiner, to discuss the development of new roles in medicolegal death investigation (MDI) offices that focus on providing support to the families of decedents. 

On a daily basis, the staff of medical examiner and coroner offices encounter grieving families who are in need of compassion, resources, or just a listening ear. In response to this need, MDI offices across the country are developing programs and staff positions that are entirely devoted to supporting the families of decedents. Listen along as Rebecca and Meghan describe the historic need for family and community advocates, specific strategies for support and remembrance, and advice on how more offices can start building this kind of program. 

This episode of Just Science is funded by the National Institute of Justice’s Forensic Technology Center of Excellence (Award #: 15PNIJ-21-GK-02192-MUMU).

Some content in this podcast may be considered sensitive and may evoke emotional responses, or may not be appropriate for younger audiences. 

Listen to or download the episode here:

View or download the episode transcript here:

Episode Citation

Keyes, K., Reid, R., & Clarke, M. (2023, March 10). Just Science. Just Family Support During Death Investigations. [Audio podcast episode]. The Forensic Technology Center of Excellence.

Guest Biography

Rebecca Reid moved to Cheyenne, WY in 2013 and is proud to call Cheyenne her home. She has extensive field experience and educational qualifications that have served the countless communities she has been a part. Prior to moving to Cheyenne, Rebecca served as death investigator with the District 14 Medical Examiner's Office in Panama City, Florida for seven years. She served as Deputy Coroner for Laramie County Coroner's Office from December 20, 2013 before being promoted to and serving as Chief Deputy Coroner since October 1, 2014. After being elected as Coroner in 2018 and taking office in January of 2019, Rebecca has worked tirelessly and brought the office and administration up to code, achieving accreditation and raising the standard for Laramie County. She continues to advance her field of specialty in medicolegal death investigation, with continuing education and hands on training in the field. For the past nine years, Rebecca has embraced the responsibility that comes with guiding families through the most difficult time in their lives, the loss of their loved ones. Rebecca's promise is to continue serving Laramie County and each decedent and family member with dignity, compassion and respect.

Meghan Clarke is the supervisor of administration and program administrator for Family Advocate Support Team in the Denver Office of the Medical Examiner. She is a Colorado native with over a decade of experience in victim services, victim advocacy, and trauma informed care. She graduated from Metropolitan State University of Denver with a degree in Criminal Justice and Criminology. Meghan began her journey in victim advocacy with an agency in Jefferson County called Victim Outreach Inc., working all types of cases from crisis calls to homicides. After 9 years, she moved to the Denver District Attorney’s Office where she served as a victim advocate and subject matter expert on victim issues and the Victim Rights Act (VRA). In June of 2021, Meghan was hired by the Office of the Medical Examiner to develop and oversee a family focused advocacy-based program. Since its inception, the FAST team has grown to include a robust internship program and in spring 2023, the team will be adding another full-time advocate! The team’s focus is on supporting those left behind after a traumatic loss and to date has provided advocacy services to loved ones in over 1,400 cases.

The opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this podcast episode are those of the presenter(s) and do not necessarily reflect those of the U.S. Department of Justice.

Contact us at with any questions and subscribe to our newsletter for notifications.

Related Content

Forensic Use of GPR and LiDAR Technology for Clandestine Grave Detection

This webinar originally occurred on April 18, 2024 Duration: 1 hour Overview George Mason University (GMU) has conducted a technology evaluation of LiDAR deployed on an Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) and ground-penetrating radar (GPR) for crime scene processing, specifically in…

Improving Methods Using Machine Learning and Databases in Forensic Anthropology

← Back to Webinar Series Page This webinar originally occurred on December 5, 2023Duration: 1 hour Overview Part I: GeoFOR presented by Katherine Weisensee, Ph.D.Estimating the time since death, or the postmortem interval (PMI), poses a significant challenge to forensic…