Course Summary

This course is approved for 8 hours of continuing education credits by Missouri POST.

Who Should Take This Course

  • Law Enforcement Patrol Officers/ Supervisors
  • Detectives and Investigators
  • Medicolegal Death Investigators
  • Coroners
  • Interested Students 

In nearly all instances, a law enforcement patrol officer will be the first enforcement unit on the scene of a death. In many jurisdictions, these same patrol officers are tasked with the responsibility of investigating these deaths, either through completion or until they recognize the need for more advanced assistance – if that assistance is even available.

This course is specifically designed with the patrol officer, patrol supervisor, and investigator in mind. The participant will be led through the process of understanding a death scene from the moment they get assigned the call through the scene investigation process.

The top areas of learning objectives covered are:

  • Identify Cause, Manner, and Mechanism of death
  • Identify who is responsible for determining the cause of death
  • Identify Procedures for initial response to call
  • Identify arrival procedures
  • Identify initial scene assessment
  • Identify the critical element of scene photography
  • Identify the unique issues surrounding suicide deaths
  • Identify Child death scene and the unique circumstances to them
  • Identify the need for and how to, ensure proper scene cooperation
  • Identify the different types of scene searches and why they are important
  • Identify who to create proper scene sketches
  • Identify proper evidence collection
  • Identify different types of packaging material
  • Identify how to conduct a complete body exam
  • Identify the requirements of why and how to collect body fluids
  • Identify wound determination and identification
  • Identify lividly and rigor mortis as a time of death indicators

This is an online video training and is designed to be interactive with students by random quizzes and a final exam. Student login and time are tracked per student to verify the time spent in the course if needed.   Testing cannot be done until the videos are watched.  Many of the videos have a unique symbol or picture that will appear prominently in the video and is part of the test questions, this will ensure the video has been watched. Certificates will only be available for print after the successful completion of the course material. 

Each certificate will indicate that it was an online training and will note the approval control number and the CLEE hours given.


Course curriculum

  • 01

    Course Introduction and Welcome

    Show Content
    • Content Integrity and Copyright Notice

    • Content and Copyright Notice Acknowledgment

    • Welcome to your new course

  • 02

    Section One - Overview, Scene Arrival, and Cooperation

    Show Content
    • Overview, Scene Arrival, and Cooperation Part 1

    • Overview, Scene Arrival, and Cooperation Part 2

    • Quiz: Overview, Scene Arrival, and Cooperation

  • 03

    Section Two - Investigative Triangle and Suicide

    Show Content
    • Investigative Triangle and Suicide Part 1

    • Investigative Triangle and Suicide Part 2

    • Quiz: Investigative Triangle and Suicide

  • 04

    Section Three- Drug Overdoes, Asphyxia, and Autoerotic Death

    Show Content
    • Drug Overdoes, Asphyxia, and Autoerotic Death Part 1

    • Drug Overdoes, Asphyxia, and Autoerotic Death Part 2

    • Helium and Chemical Suicides

    • Quiz: Drug Overdoes, Asphyxia, and Autoerotic Death

  • 05

    Section Four - Scene Documentation and Evidence

    Show Content
    • Scene Documentation and Evidence

    • Evidence and Entomology Part 1

    • Evidence and Entomology Part 2

    • Scene Search and Sketching

    • Quiz: Scene Documentation and Evidence

  • 06

    Section Five - Body Exam and Wound Identification

    Show Content
    • External Body Exams

    • Gunshot Injury

    • Cutting and Stabbing Injury

    • Quiz: Body Exam and Wound Identification

    • Forensic Body Exam Charts

  • 07

    Section Six - Investigating Infant Death

    Show Content
    • Investigating Infant Death Part 1

    • Investigating Infant Death Part 2

    • Investigating Infant Death Part 3

    • Quiz: Investigating Infant Death

    • SUDI Investigation Guidelines

    • SUDI Reporting Form

  • 08

    Additional Reading and Resources

    Show Content
    • Overcoming Defense in Shaken Baby Cases

    • Entomology Infographic

    • Scene Sketch Methods

    • Law Enforcement CLEE Request


  • I’m not currently in this field, can I still take the course?

    Yes. This course is open to students who are wanting to enter the field of death investigation as well as working professionals. It is our goal to help you prepare for the job you are wanting by providing nationally accepted training.

  • How long do I have access to the course?

    You will have access to the course material for six months. This, however, does not take into account natural disasters or a major interruption in business.

  • Do we get a certificate at the end?

    The course is an all-inclusive course. So, each student will receive a certificate at the end of all course work denoting credits and approval numbers along with the date of completion.

  • What if I want to talk to someone before I register?

    If you have other questions, please email us or call our academy directly at 1-888-556-0177.


Darren Dake is a law enforcement professional with over 30 years’ experience in criminal and medicolegal death investigation. Darren has worked in both the law enforcement realm of investigations as well as in the role of senior investigator with the Coroner’s office for over 20 years. This combined investigative experience has uniquely established Darren as an expert in investigations which allows him to consult and teach internationally on investigation practices and procedures.

Darren Dake, D-ABMDI, CI, CCI

Senior Instructor