The Northern Marianas currently has no capability to perform autopsies as the islands and neighbouring Guam have no forensic pathologist.
Aurelio Espinola was Guam's chief medical examiner for 23 years and travelled to CNMI for autopsies but he retired in January.
Philip Dauterman, who is a pathologist on Saipan, conducts preliminary assessments for any death investigations in both the CNMI and Guam.
However, the closest forensic pathologist to the CNMI is based in Hawaii.
A forensic pathologist is a person who specialises in medical examination of a corpse and determining its cause of death.