Medical Examiner

Medical Examiner Valerie Rao Announces Retirement After Difficult Tenure

May 7, 2018
Kevin Meerschaert / WJCT News

Valerie Rao, the embattled medical examiner who has held onto her job in the face of criticism for the last five years, announced she would retire in the summer.

Lindsey Kilbride / WJCT News

The Jacksonville Medical Examiner’s Office Monday received a mobile-unit to house more office space. It’s part of a $206,000 city plan to temporarily address the morgue’s overcrowding.

City Morgue
Lindsey Kilbride / WJCT News

The Jacksonville medical examiner's office doesn’t have enough room for its bodies. So the City Council could vote as soon as next week on an emergency fix.


Kevin Meerschaert / WJCT News

A public health crisis spinning out of control.

That’s how Dr. Valarie Rao, medical examiner for Florida’s 4th District, describes North Florida's opioid epidemic. The district encompasses Duval, Clay, Nassau, Hamilton and Columbia Counties.

Thursday on First Coast Connect, 4th District medical examiner Dr. Valerie Rao and Lt. Mark Rowley, quality improvement officer with the Jacksonville Fire and Rescue Department, talked about how the opioid epidemic is straining their offices. We also spoke by phone with Abe Gol about an upcoming NOVA episode dealing with the discovery of tunnels in Lithuania used by Jews to escape the Nazi’s during the Holocaust, and Niki Brunson and Dana Miller, organizers of Saturday’s Melanin Market and Parade in Jacksonville.