Report: King County homicides, suicides decline

December 20, 2011

NEW — 11:25 a.m. Dec. 20, 2011

King County experienced the fewest homicides — 59 — in a decade last year, as suicides declined after a spike in 2009.

The information comes from the King County Medical Examiner’s Office. In the agency’s annual report, officials analyze suspicious, sudden, unexpected and violent deaths in King County, plus trends in drug overdose deaths, homicides and traffic fatalities. The agency released the 2010 report Monday.

Overall, King County experienced fewer homicides, suicides, accidental deaths and deaths from natural causes last year than in 2009. (The report includes only deaths under medical examiner’s office jurisdiction.)

The deaths investigated by the medical examiner’s office also made 156 organ transplants possible last year.

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Report: suicides increase as murders, traffic deaths decline

April 1, 2011

Deaths due to murder and traffic accidents in King County have dipped to the lowest point in a decade in 2009, but the number of suicides has increased to the highest number since 2000.

The annual report from the King County Medical Examiner’s Office offers detailed analysis of suspicious, sudden, unexpected and violent deaths, plus trends in drug overdose deaths, homicides and traffic fatalities. The agency released the initial data from the 2009 report Dec. 28.

The medical examiner’s office estimated 12,967 deaths occurred in King County in 2009. Officials performed autopsies in about 10 percent of the cases — or 1,226 deaths.

The agency assumed jurisdiction in 2,190 deaths — 989 natural deaths, 632 accidental deaths, 253 suicides, 141 traffic deaths, 63 homicides and 59 deaths due to undetermined causes.

The 2009 total includes one Newcastle death, which was due to undetermined causes. The medical examiner’s office has responded to one death in Newcastle per year since 2006. It responded to suicides in 2006 and 2008, and an accidental death in 2007.

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