Current or Aspiring Death Investigator? The Medicolegal Death Investigator Blended Academy is for you. 

Start your path to expertise with this hybrid online / in-person course. Perfect proven strategies for conducting flawless death investigations. 

Now accepting enrollments for: March 18-21, 2019 and October 21 – 24, 2019


Death investigations are complicated, highly charged, and extremely detailed. The public and family members expect a thorough and professional investigation into any death, and investigators must be competent and confident. In the case of homicide, a skilled, legal, and thorough investigation is required in order to successfully identify, apprehend and prosecute offenders.

Taught by skilled accredited instructors working in the field of death investigation, the Medicolegal Death Investigator Blended Academy is an intermediate-level course focused on providing the skills necessary to properly conduct death investigations. Nationally-approved by The American Board of Medicolegal Death Investigators (ABMDI), the Blended Academy combines self-paced video courses with an intensive, 4-day practical application seminar at the Death Investigation Training Academy in Cuba, Missouri.

The course consists of two parts:

Part 1: Online Courses

To gain foundational knowledge, students will complete four online courses. These courses provide a total of 8.5 training hours and ensure that students possess knowledge in the areas of death notification and certain death types. The courses are self-paced and do not need to be completed prior to attending the classroom session:

Part 2: In-Person Training

The classroom portion of the Academy will occur at the Death Investigation Academy training facility in Cuba, Missouri (View Map) and focus on these topic areas:

Day 1

  • Scene Management:  Arrival, Security, and  Agency Cooperation
  • Scene Investigation; Assessment, Evidence, and Documentation
  • Building and Maintaining a Professional Image
  • Ethics in Investigations
  • Final Summary Report Writing for Death Cases
  • Court Room Testimony

Day 2

  • Understanding Cause and Manner Implications
  • Determining Time of Death
  • Investigating Suicide and Self-Harm Death
  • Investigating  Autoerotic Fatalities
  • Collecting Body Fluids for Toxicology
  • Body Examination and Wound Identification (gun shot, stabbing, and cutting)

Day 3

  • Guarding your Mental Health
  • Investigating Death in Differing Cultures
  • Mock Scene Training – Practical Exercise

Day 4

  • Forensic Osteology Human v. Non-Human Bone
  • Practical principles of clandestine grave recovery
  • Surface Skeletal Remain recovery
  • Overview of Entomology evidence

After completing this course, students will be able to better understand search and seizure law, document death scenes scene, locate and collect evidence, properly distinguish differing manners of death, better understand wound and injury interpretation, understand the dynamics of a child death, conduct witness interviews, and properly complete reports and prepare for courtroom testimony.

NOTE: This course includes several post-mortem examination photographs and video segments – as well as injury, death, and homicide scenes through photos and videos of actual cases. Course content is very graphic and intense.

This course is approved by The American Board of Medicolegal Death Investigators (ABMDI)  and Missouri Department of Public Safety POST Commission. 

Course Instructors

At DIA we believe in peer-to-peer training using the best accredited instructors. All of our instructors and trainers are accredited in their specialized fields. Many are nationally-known authors, speakers, trainers, and certified as expert witnesses. DIA instructors are either currently working in, or recently retired from, the disciplines they are instructing. It is our belief that the best instructors are hands on and have direct knowledge of current trends, methods, and technological advances – as it applies to actual case work.

Our Instructors

Anita Brooks

Anita’s work in the area of PTSD and Compassion Fatigue has helped shape many agencies’ perspectives on the metal health and vitality of their investigators.  Her teaching style brings tough topics into an easy to apply perspective.  She is considered an expert in team building, stress management, conflict resolution, and developing interaction guidelines for dealing with surviving  family.

Anita is  an award-winning author. Her titles include Amazon best seller: Getting Through What You Can’t Get Over, Barbour Publishing, First Hired, Last Fired — How to Become Irreplaceable in Any Job Market, Leafwood Publishing, Death Defied-Life Defined: A Miracle Man’s Memoir, and contributor to The Change: Insights Into Self Empowerment Book #4. Her books are available at major and independent bookstores, Amazon, plus several online retailers.

Joseph M. Weber – Weber & Associates

Joe Weber is currently a senior partner and licensed investigator in the firm of Weber & Associates. His firm provides law enforcement consultation and investigative services for insurance companies, attorneys, and financial institutions. Weber & Associates develops and presents law enforcement training to jurisdictions throughout the Midwest.  Joe also serves as an adjunct instructor and program developer for the Missouri Sheriff’s Association.

Joe finished his law enforcement career as a Lieutenant with the Crawford County Sheriff’s office. He has served as an expert witness in jail cases involving suicide, special needs inmates, and other confinement issues brought before the US Courts in the 8th Circuit.

He has been a guest speaker at criminal justice seminars and attorney’s conferences throughout the Eastern United States and has been published in magazines of national circulation with articles regarding jail funding, construction, and operations and has been a regular contributor to the Missouri Sheriff’s magazine.

Major Mark E. Bailey

Major Mark E. Bailey recently closed out his 24- year career as the Director of the Marine Corps’ Military Police School. He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science/Criminal Justice from North Carolina State University, and a Master’s Degree in Military Studies from The Marine Corps University. He is a graduate of the FBI National Academy (251st Session).

Mark has served in numerous law enforcement assignments including: Watch Commander, Operations Officer (Patrol, K-9 and SRT), Services Officer, Director of Security and Emergency Services (Police, Fire and EMS), and Chief of Police for a 600-man department.

Darren Dake, D-ABMDI, CCI

Darren is an ABMDI accredited medicolegal death investigator and an ACFEI certified criminal investigator working  with the Crawford County Missouri Coroner’s Office, an author, conference speaker, trainer.

Darren is a certified teaching instructor and criminal investigator with over 30 years experience in the field of law enforcement and death investigations. He holds certification as an  instructor for the Missouri Department of Public Safety, the Missouri Sheriff’s Association, and the Law Enforcement Training Institute – (Missouri University Columbia). Darren is also the lead instructor and facilitator for the Death Investigation Training Academy™, and hosts its online podcast-media program for death investigators.

Dr. Mark Beary, PhD​

Dr. Mark Beary is the consulting forensic anthropologist for the Boone County Medical Examiner’s Office, located in Columbia, Mo. He worked as a professional archaeologist for several years before entering the field of forensic anthropology. In 2005 he received his Master’s degree in Forensic and Biological Anthropology and in 2018 he received his Ph.D. in Anthropology with a focus in bioarcheology and forensics. He has worked on numerous cases through the Boone County Medical Examiner’s Office over the past ten years. He has also worked directly with local, state and federal law enforcement agencies to recover human remains from outdoor crime scenes and clandestine graves. His professional interests include forensic archaeology and outdoor crime scene recovery; forensic taphonomy including forensic entomology; development of biological profiles from human skeletal remains; and human skeletal trauma analysis.

Mark has served in numerous law enforcement assignments including: Watch Commander, Operations Officer (Patrol, K-9 and SRT), Services Officer, Director of Security and Emergency Services (Police, Fire and EMS), and Chief of Police for a 600-man department.


Frequently Asked Questions

Have questions? Check our our Frequently Asked Questions below. If you’d like to speak with us about the Blended Academy, please call us at 1-888-556-0177.

Frequently Asked Questions

Who should attend the Academy?

Medical Examiner Investigators, Coroner Investigators, Police and Law Enforcement professionals, prosecuting attorneys, defense attorneys, private legal investigators, and forensic students should attend the Blended Academy.

When is the Academy?

We are currently accepting registrations for the March 18-21, 2019 and October 21-24, 2019 Academies.

Where is the Academy? 

This course is a blended course that includes both online and in-person training. You’ll take all of your online courses here at Law Enforcement Learning, and we’ll provide you access to each online courses after your register. You can complete those courses at home, on your tablet, or on your smartphone at your convenience.

The in-person portion of the Academy is held at the Death Investigation Academy training facility in Cuba, Missouri (View Map)

How do I register?  

Fill out the registration information and submit your payment below. After you register, we’ll create you accounts, enroll you in all your required online courses, and send you access information. We’ll also provide you additional information to help you as you plan to travel to the in-person portion of the Academy.

Does the Academy help me prepare for the ABMDI exam?

Yes, this course will present material helpful in testing preparations. Keep in mind that ABMDI is independent and has its own regulations for testing and qualifying for the exam opportunity.  However, this course is approved by ABMDI and is written in national standards as set out by ABMDI, which are the areas covered by their exam.

Can I pay via check or purchase order instead of by credit card? 

Yes. Please contact us here and we’ll work with you to ensure you’re able to use the payment method of your choice.

Do we get a certificate for each course section or one at the end?

You’ll receive individual certificates for each online course plus one Academy certificate upon successful completion of the in-person seminar.

Does the Academy offer anything like student grants or any financial assistance?

No, at this time we do not have any financial assistance available.

What resources do students receive? 

Each student receives full access to four online courses as well as books, presentation slides (excluding photographs), handouts, and certificates.

What are the preferred lodging options in Cuba, Missouri? 

Our preferred Hotel provider is Super 8 Hotel. Their phone number is 573-885-2087. When making reservations use reservation code (criminal and death investigation course) to get the program price.

What is the nearest airport? 

The nearest airport is Lambert Field, St. Louis, Missouri.

What if I want to talk to someone before I register?

If you have other questions, please email us here or call our academy directly at 1-888-556-0177.


To register for the Medicolegal Death Investigator Blended Academy, fill out the form below. You’ll be able to add multiple students from your agency and submit one payment. After you register, you’ll receive a confirmation email with logistical details and information on how to access the online courses.