The forensic pathology assistant photographs the body as it comes into the morgue and again after the body has been undressed and cleaned. The body is examined for physical evidence like hairs and fibers, and swabs may be taken. The clothing and evidence is then logged and packaged. X-rays may also be taken. After the pathologist dictates the external examination, the body is opened and the organs removed. The individual organs are examined and weighed and sections are retained for microscopic evaluation. Every attempt will be made to externally reconstruct the body to its original condition. The organs are returned to the body and it is closed, cleaned, and wrapped to be sent to the mortuary.
A positive identification is essential before the body is released from this office. This is accomplished by visual, (usually photographic), fingerprints, or both body and dental x-ray comparison.