November 8, 2023
Media Relations Division
Medical Examiner Investigator Charged With Stealing From the Deceased
Los Angeles County District Attorney George Gascón announced today that an investigator with the County of Los Angeles Department of Medical Examiner (formerly known as the Department of Medical Examiner-Coroner) has been charged with stealing items from deceased individuals and surroundings during the scope of his employment.
“An investigator with the Medical Examiner’s Office holds a position of immense trust and responsibility,” District Attorney Gascón said. “Their role is not just to unravel the cause of death or help solve potential crimes but also to provide closure and peace to grieving family members. The theft of items, potential family heirlooms and sentimental pieces from the deceased, not only violates this trust but desecrates the memory of a loved one.
“It’s a profound betrayal of the very essence of the role and the solemn duty owed to both the deceased and their bereaved families.”
Chief Medical Examiner Dr. Odey Ukpo added: “The Department of Medical Examiner takes these allegations very seriously and is assisting law enforcement and the D.A.’s Office in the ongoing investigation.”
Adrian Muñoz (dob 10/22/89) of Los Angeles was charged with one felony count of grand theft of property and one misdemeanor count of petty theft of property.
Arraignment in case BA519016 will be set for a later date in Department 30 of the Foltz Criminal Justice Center. The case was filed for warrant on November 7.
On January 6, 2023, Muñoz responded to a death investigation of a warehouse worker who died of a heart attack at his job in South Los Angeles. According to surveillance footage, Muñoz removed a gold crucifix necklace from the deceased man’s neck and placed it in his medical bag. Muñoz did not return the item or document it in the property receipt.
After a search of Muñoz’s desk cubicle, investigators discovered rare antique coins with a receipt in the name of a man discovered deceased on November 12, 2022. Muñoz, employed by the Medical Examiner’s Office since 2018, had handled the man’s death investigation.
Anybody with further information regarding this case should call CRIMESTOPPERS at 1-800-222-TIPS (1-800-222-8477).
The case is being prosecuted by LADA’s Justice System Integrity Division and was investigated by the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department.