11-600. Burial of indigent deceased; disposal of property
A. When a death investigation has been completed by the county medical examiner or alternate medical examiner and no other person takes charge of the body of the deceased, the examiner shall cause the body to be delivered to the funeral establishment, licensed pursuant to title 32, chapter 12, article 4, closest geographically to the place where the body is pronounced dead, for preservation, disinfection and final disposition. The medical examiner or alternate medical examiner may establish geographical areas within the county and a rotation system whereby the bodies are delivered equally in sequence to all licensed funeral establishments in each geographical area. All licensed funeral establishments in any incorporated city or town shall be in the same geographical area. Area boundaries in unincorporated areas shall be drawn so as to approximate equal distances between incorporated cities or towns in which a licensed funeral establishment or establishments exist. Upon request of any licensed funeral establishment, in writing, they shall be removed from participation in the receipt of medical examiner cases until they rescind their request. If there is not sufficient property in the estate of the deceased to pay the necessary expenses of the burial, the expenses shall be a legal charge against the county. Upon determination of indigency the funeral establishment shall perform the normal county indigent burial, in the manner and for the fee then being paid by the county, or release the body, upon county request, without fee, to the funeral establishment designated by the county for other indigent burials.
B. Notwithstanding subsection A of this section, the county medical examiner or alternate medical examiner may cause the body to be delivered to a community college under the jurisdiction of a community college district as defined in section 15-1401, if the community college has an accredited mortuary science program. On acceptance of the body and with proper authorization, the community college mortuary science program shall preserve and disinfect the body, prepare it for final disposition and deliver the body to a licensed funeral establishment pursuant to subsection A of this section for final disposition. For the purposes of this subsection, proper authorization may be provided by the next of kin pursuant to section 36-831, subsection A or the public fiduciary of the county.
C. Within thirty days after the examination, the medical examiner or alternate medical examiner shall deliver to the public fiduciary of the county or the legal representative of the deceased any money or property found upon the body.