Investigation of Sudden Unexpected Infant Deaths

Reade A Quinton

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


The investigation of infant death is complex and requires synergy between multiple agencies including law enforcement, Child Protective Services, medicolegal death investigators, and forensic pathologists. Prior to the forensic pediatric autopsy, the death investigator must identify the types of death scenes involved (e.g., hospital, residence, daycare) and document the details of the scene. Interviews must be conducted with the caregivers and other family members (including doll reenactments), law enforcement, pediatricians, and emergency medical personnel. The forensic pathologist must be able to conduct a comprehensive pediatric forensic autopsy and be aware of the specific challenges related to cases of sudden unexpected infant deaths. This article provides an overview of infant death investigation, discussing the roles and responsibilities of the medicolegal death investigator and the forensic pathologist.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)316-330
Number of pages15
JournalAcademic Forensic Pathology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 1 2014


  • Autopsy
  • Death investigation
  • Forensic pathology
  • Sudden infant death
  • SUID

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine


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