The Office of Medical Examiner was established to provide a scientific investigative system for the U.S. Virgin Islands on deaths which occurred suddenly without cause or from unnatural circumstances.

The primary purpose of the department is to determine a true cause and manner of death by conducting medicolegal death investigations, autopsies, toxicology & specimen analysis on all unnatural & unusual deaths, such as but not limited to homicides, suicides, accidents, sudden unexpected deaths that occurred in a suspicious manner or caused by an unrecognizable disease. In addition, a postmortem examination must also be done on an individual who had died outside of a hospital facility or less than 24 hours after admission to a hospital facility and whose body is to be shipped off island, cremated, or buried at sea.