Forensic and Medical Autopsy Pathology


The Office of the Medical Investigator (OMI) investigates any death occurring in the State of New Mexico that is sudden, violent, untimely, unexpected, or when a person is found dead and the cause of death is unknown. The OMI provides consultation services for the Navajo Nation, Federal Bureau of Investigation, area pueblos, Veterans Administration Medical Center and other agencies. The OMI manages the University of New Mexico Hospital Autopsy Service.


  • Forensic modalities/technology used:
    • In house postmortem CT scanner
    • In house postmortem MRI scanner
    • Digital radiology
  • Special capabilities:
    • Expert consultants in:
      • Forensic Anthropology
      • Forensic Radiology
      • Forensic Epidemiology
      • Neuropathology
      • Forensic Odontology
      • Grief counseling services
  • Nationally recognized and board accredited training programs with four forensic pathology fellows each year

  • Faculty teaches medical students, pathology residents, forensic fellows, and others

  • Collaboration with the NM Department of Health, the Mind Institute, UNM Health Sciences Center

Contact information:

List of Board Certified pathologists on the service:

Dr. Ross Zumwalt, Chief Medical Investigator

Dr. Michelle Aurelius, Assistant Chief Medical Investigator

Dr. Ian Paul

Dr. Sam Andrews

Dr. Heather Jarrell

Dr. Hannah A. Kastenbaum

Dr. Lori Proe

Additional Faculty and Staff:

Dr. Kurt Nolte, Assistant Chief for Research, Director, Center for Forensic Imaging

Dr. Gary Hatch, Forensic Radiologist

Dr. Peter Loomis, Forensic Odontologist

Dr. Sarah Lathrop, Epidemiologist


OMI site:


Forensic pathology fellowship: