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How can the personal valuables and property of the deceased be obtained?

The family member who falls within the hierarchy of Next of Kin, with proper photo I.D., may pick up property of the deceased. For family convenience, please call to verify when Next of Kin is ready to pick-up property.   

 Download Hierarchy of Next of Kin

Where is clothing of the deceased located?

The clothing is kept with the decedent, and released to the funeral director at the time of pick-up.  

In cases of homicide, various suicides, or vehicular death, the clothing may be held by the Medical Examiner or investigating law enforcement agency for use as evidence.  

What happens to the following items?

Medical devices, including breathing machines, dentures, eyeglasses, and prosthetics remain with the decedent, and are released to the funeral director at the time of pick-up.  

When will personal property be available for release?

Personal property will be released only after the Pathologist has completed examination of the decedent.  

There is an orange seal on an external or internal door of a home, apartment, or business building. I need to get in to find insurance and/or military papers for funeral arrangements. How do I break the seal?

Property personnel verifies that the decedent is ready for release and will give permission to family to enter premises. In the event a management company requests proof of release, Property personnel will generate a Letter of Release at the family’s request and fax it to management, or the family can pick-up Seal Release form at the Cuyahoga County Medical Examiner’s Office.  

When are you going to clean-up the premises?

The Cuyahoga County Medical Examiner’s Office does not clean-up crime scenes or locations where a death occurred. There is a number of bio-hazardous waste removal services located in the Greater Cleveland area that provide such service.    

What happens to the pet at the scene?

The pet will be released to family, but if family is unavailable then the local animal warden would be notified.  

For other legal avenues, please refer to the Ohio Revised Code (ORC), an attorney, or Probate Court.