Skip navigation

Campus Closed:

Due to forecasted winter weather, the UCO campus will be closed Wednesday, Feb. 1. All offices will be closed and all classes are canceled.

Instructor

University of Central Oklahoma

Experience

Timothy Dwyer worked as a medicolegal death investigator for the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner (OCME) for approximately eighteen years. During that time, he spent six years as the chief investigator.  Then, he served in the capacity of a district one investigator, working deaths that fall under State Statues primarily for fifteen counties in the south-central part of the state of Oklahoma.  He has also been on the Advisory Council for the American Board of Medicolegal Death Investigators (ABMDI) for the past ten years, board of directors for the past six and served three years as an officer in the capacity of vice president.

                             

Classes Taught

Current:

  • Embalming
  • Pathology
  • Medicolegal Death Investigation
  • Funeral Home Administration

Previous:

  • Adjunct Professor - Oklahoma State University College of Osteopathic Medicine for Dr. Ron Thrasher, Medicolegal Forensics
  • TA – University of Central Oklahoma Forensic Science Institute for Dr. Wayne Lord, Medicolegal Forensics. 
  • Former and/or current Academy Instructor on Medicolegal Death Investigation– Oklahoma Highway Patrol, Oklahoma City Police Department, Oklahoma County Sheriff’s Office, Tulsa Police Department, Moore Fire Department, State Fire Marshal’s office, Norman Police Department, CLEET Criminal Investigation Academy, Oklahoma Sheriff’s Association, University of Central Oklahoma Funeral Service Department Orientation class, Oklahoma City Fire Department, Oklahoma State University OKC Criminal Justice Program, St. Gregory University Criminal Justice Program,  and the Oklahoma State Department of Health.

Professional and Community Involvement

Sloan’s Mortuary Service; Tulsa, Oklahoma, May 1999 - September 1999

Colonial Chapel Funeral Home; Stillwater, Oklahoma, October 1999 - May 2000

Support Services Mortuary Service; Oklahoma City, May 2000 - May 2002

District 2 Investigator  (June 2002- August 2008)

            Responsible for working deaths as outlined by state statute in primarily seven counties in the eastern central part of the state.  Established jurisdiction on rural cases, conducted scene investigations when necessary, and performed Long-Distance-Sign-Out examinations for both in-house staff forensic pathologists and county-appointed medical examiners.  I also worked shifts in the Tulsa office weekly to cover for short-staffing issues that were dealt with at the time.

 

Oklahoma City Investigator (August 2008- August 2016)

            Worked in the call rotation with other in-house agents.  Conducted death investigations, including scene investigation when necessary, for cases in the Oklahoma City metropolitan area and surrounding areas.  I also shared responsibilities as a morgue agent, performing daily operations of evidence procurement during autopsy and decedent triage. 

 

Chief Investigator (2010-August 2016)

            Supervisor for 30+ employees responsible for conducting death investigations for the 77 counties of the State of Oklahoma 24 hours a day, seven days a week.  Primary responsibilities were administrative during “normal business hours,” but I also worked in the call rotation when needed both in Oklahoma City, Tulsa, and the rural areas on nights, holidays, and weekends.  Job responsibilities included, but were not limited to scheduling, training, hiring, evaluating, certifying, and equipping medicolegal death investigators to perform all functions of their jobs.  I also helped write policies/procedures, performed public relations for the agency, and represented the face of the investigative unit.

 

District 1 Investigator (August 2016-July 2018)

            Responsible for conducting death investigations as outlined by state statute in primarily fifteen counties in the south-central part of the state.  Also, perform Long-Distance-Sign-Out examinations for forensic pathologists in the Oklahoma City office.

Research, Published Work, and Scholarly Activities

April 2013 ABMDI Newsletter – “Death Investigation with a Twist” – Investigation of, triage, and environmental factors to be considered/conducted while working environmental deaths such as tornados, flooding, and other outdoor scenarios.

July 2013 ABMDI Newsletter – “Tips for Investigating Deaths Where Things May Not be as They Seem” – Atypical cases scenarios and tips on how to address them.  Slowing down, listening to your “gut,” and selective fact gathering in addition to other strategies and techniques.

January 2014 ABMDI Newsletter – “Noodling; Man vs Catfish” – Mortality rate and examination of loss of human life while grappling (aka hand-fishing) for flathead catfish. 

March 24, 2014 ABMDI Newsletter – “Oklahoma Regional Spotlight” – An overview of the practices, jurisdiction, and policy of the Oklahoma Office of the Chief Medical Examiner in regards to national standards and practices in the field of medicolegal death investigation.

January 5, 2015 ABMDI Newsletter – “Putting Your Back in It” – A guide to safe lifting/moving techniques in regards to decedents.  Unique situations and techniques covered in an effort to prevent on the job injury and respect the integrity of the decedent(s) involved.

September 14, 2015 ABMDI Newsletter – “Chronic Alcoholism” – Editor note/contribution to article addressing concerns and considerations while conducting death investigations where ethanol played a role in addition to often multiple other comorbidities. 

September 20, 2016 ABMDI Newsletter – “An Interview with a MDI Veteran” – Interview with investigator (Emma Prophet) who worked in the field with three different agencies over her career, examining how the industry changed, challenges faced both then and today, and where the industry is heading into the future.

April 3, 2017 ABMDI Newsletter – “Pills, Pills, Pills, …” – Considerations, practices, and policy in regards to handling prescription narcotics (opiates) both in the field and the clinical setting while conducting death investigations of suspected over-dose.

September 6, 2017 ABMDI Newsletter – “The Window of Death” – Creating an estimation of timeline of the postmortem interval by taking into consideration livor mortis, algor mortis, and rigor mortis.  Consideration of environmental factors and other contributing influences in regards to the rate of decomposition involved in medicolegal death investigation.

Spring 2018 ABMDI Newsletter – “Atypical Sharp Force Injury” – A look at sharp force injury caused by crossbows and other archery equipment seen infrequently in homicide, suicide, and accidental death cases.

The views expressed by UCO faculty and staff on their personal websites and social media pages do not necessarily reflect the positions of the University of Central Oklahoma. UCO faculty and staff are advised to follow the university’s social media guidelines and are expected to conduct themselves in accordance with policies outlined in UCO’s Employee Handbook and/or Faculty Handbook.