What if I have to identify the body?

If the police are not able to positively identify the body through fingerprints from previous police involvement or through medical history (e.g. old fractures, tattoos), the law requires that a family member make a formal identification of the body. Although the police may be quite sure that the body is your loved one, you need to make a positive identification. 

If this is not something that you want to do

A family friend who knew the person who was murdered could do the identification. The personal identity of this person would be verified before he or she would be allowed to view the body.

If you choose to identify the body yourself

You may want to have another family member or friend accompany you for support. Many victims have found it helpful to go through this painful process. If you feel that this is something that you want to do, insist on it but be prepared for the reality of death.

Mennonite Central Committee Canada. (2011). Getting through the maze: A guidebook for survivors of homicide.

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