You may be asked if you want your loved one's remains to be buried or cremated abroad. The repatriation of your loved one's body to the UK will trigger a UK Inquest. If your loved one is cremated or buried abroad this will not happen.
This can be a difficult choice if your loved one loved the country where they were murdered, lived there or has family there (so burial abroad is preferred) but you also want to get as much information as possible to help get justice and answers after your loved one's murder.
If your loved one has been murdered or died in suspicious circumstances, a Full Forensic Post Mortem should always be carried out after repatriation to the UK. Although it can be distressing to think about a post mortem being carried out on your loved one's body, it can be very helpful in gathering samples for a murder investigation. It can also help to tell you about how your loved one died. A post mortem report will be written (in English). This is the same Forensic Post Mortem examination that would be carried out if someone was murdered in the UK.
A Forensic Post Mortem differs from a non-forensic Hospital Post Mortem, which is less thorough and less helpful to gather evidence that could be used in a murder investigation. It also gives less information about injuries and the cause of death.
You can request this Full Forensic Post Mortem, as the family/interested parties, if it does not take place automatically. You can also ask the Coroner's Officer or Coroner to check that a Forensic Post Mortem is taking place.
A Forensic Post Mortem would happen before your loved ones remains are released to the funeral directors. The post mortem investigation usually takes place at a hospital.
You can ask for a copy of the UK Post mortem report, either from your Coroner or Coroner's Officer, or for a copy to be sent to you, via your GP.
Reading a post mortem report yourself can be very distressing and shocking. The medical language can be difficult. In our opinion, it's best done with a friend for support. Your GP can also help go through the report with you, and explain medical terms.
Contact us if you need more information about repatriation or if you need support requesting or understanding a Forensic Post Mortem.