On April 12, Sheriff Dan Guida presented the Aitkin County Board of Commissioners with the Medical Examiner’s Statistics Report for 2020.

The report was conducted by Dr. Kelly Mills, a medical examiner at River Valley Forensics Services. Deaths are only reported to the ME’s office when a diagnosis has not been determined before death.

The county reported a total of 72 deaths to the ME’s office in 2020; 36 were accepted as cases by the medical examiner for review. The remaining 36 were released to private physicians to sign the death certificate.

The determination of death in all 72 cases is as follows: 52 natural deaths, 16 accidental deaths and four suicides. No deaths were left undetermined or pending. Zero deaths were homicide.

Compared to 2019, Aitkin County has seen an increase in deaths caused by motor vehicle accidents and overdoses.

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