§ 23-4-11. Effects and property of deceased.
An agent of the office of state medical examiners, as the case may be, may take into his or her possession all articles and property of the deceased on or about the body and shall deliver them to the office of the chief medical examiner if an autopsy or postmortem examination is ordered, but shall otherwise deliver them to a member of the family taking a receipt for them. Provided, however, any letter, note, or any other written instrument, the contents of which relate to the manner or cause of the death of the deceased, shall be permanently retained in the files of the office. If an autopsy is ordered, the chief medical examiner shall upon completion of the investigation deliver all other articles or property to a member of the family of the deceased taking a receipt from that family member and, if any dispute exists among members of the family, he or she shall hold the other articles or property for the executor or administrator of the estate of the deceased when appointed. In the event that death shall have occurred in a hotel or other public place where possessions of the deceased may be lying, an agent of the office of state medical examiners shall make suitable arrangements for the protection of the property.
(P.L. 1973, ch. 169, § 1.)