Dr. Michelle Jorden
Has been employed in Santa Clara County as a Medical Examiner and Neuropathologist since 2008 and is currently the Chief Medical Examiner. She obtained her medical degree from Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine in Chicago, Illinois. She performed 6 additional years of postgraduate training to include residency and fellowships in Anatomic pathology, Surgical Pathology and Neuropathology at Stanford University Medical Center, CA and a fellowship in forensic pathology at the Cook County Medical Examiner’s Office in Chicago, IL. Dr. Jorden has been a Medical Examiner since 2005 and is board certified through the American Board of Pathology in anatomic pathology, neuropathology and forensic pathology. She maintains her board certification and participates in maintenance of certification (MOC) and most recently, Continuing Certification (CC) through the American Board of Pathology. Dr. Jorden also is Chair of the Child Death Review Team, board certified through the American Board of Medicolegal Death Investigators (ABMDI), a member of the Child Abuse Prevention Council for Santa Clara County and a member of the Domestic Violence Death Review Team.
Dr. Mehdi Koolaee
Joined County of Santa Clara Medical Examiner Office in July 2016. He served as Deputy Medical Examiner at the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner in Washington, DC and Assistant Chief Medical Examiner at the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner in Manassas, Virginia. He graduated from Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences in Tehran, Iran and completed his training in Anatomic and Clinical Pathology at the Howard University Hospital in Washington DC followed by a fellowship at the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner for the State of Maryland in Baltimore. He is board certified in anatomic and clinical pathology, and forensic pathology through American Board of Pathology.
Dr. Nika Aljinovic
Joined the County of Santa Clara Medical Examiner-Coroner Office in October 2017, coming from Syracuse, NY, where she served as a Medical Examiner for the Onondaga County Medical Examiner Office and a Clinical Assistant Professor at SUNY Upstate Medical University in charge of the autopsy education for the rotating pathology residents. She obtained her medical degree from University of New Mexico School of Medicine, and completed her residency training in both Anatomic and Clinical Pathology at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston, followed by the Forensic Pathology fellowship at the New Mexico Office of the Medical Investigator, and a Forensic Neuropathology/Cardiac Pathology fellowship at the Office of Chief Medical Examiner in New York City. She is board certified in Anatomic, Clinical, and Forensic Pathology and is a Diplomate of the American Board of Medicolegal Death Investigators (ABMDI). She has participated in a regional Mass Disaster workshop, and received training in the OSHA 40-Hour Health and Safety Hazardous Waste Operations Emergency Response (HAZWOPER).
Dr. Susan Parson
Joined the County of Santa Clara Medical Examiner-Coroner Office in March 2018 after previously serving as a Forensic Pathologist associated with the San Joaquin County Sheriff-Coroner in French Camp, CA. She received a B.S. in Neurobiology, Physiology, and Behavior and a B.S. in Psychology from the University of California, Davis. Having been interested in forensic pathology since her early teenage years, she later received an M.S. in Forensic Science with a concentration in Advanced Investigation from the University of New Haven (Connecticut) prior to earning her medical degree from Saba University School of Medicine (Saba, Netherlands-Antilles). She completed residency training in Anatomic Pathology and Clinical Pathology at Cedars Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, CA and fellowship training in Forensic Pathology at the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner in Baltimore, Maryland. She is board certified by the American Board of Pathology in Anatomic Pathology and Forensic Pathology and is a Diplomate of the American Board of Medicolegal Death Investigators (ABMDI).
Dr. Carolin Boecking
Assistant Medical Examiner-Coroner Carolin A. Boecking, MD is a recent graduate from the Office of the Medical Investigator in Albuquerque, New Mexico (Class of 2021) and she is board certified in Forensic Pathology as well as Anatomic Pathology. She obtained her Medical Degree in 2010 and studied at the Albert-Ludwig-University of Freiburg, Germany from 2004-2010. After graduating from the university, she followed with the ECFMG Certification in 2013 along with her Board Certification through the American Board of Pathology (ABP) in Anatomic Pathology (2020) and Forensic Pathology (2021). Positions Dr. Boecking has held prior to joining us here at the Medical Examiner-Coroner office was as a Fellow in Forensic Pathology at the Office of the Medical Investigator (2020-2021) as previously mentioned. She was a Resident Doctor in the Department of Pathology at the University of California San Francisco (UCSF) School of Medicine (2016-2020). In 2012 she started as a Volunteer Postgraduate Researcher in the Department of Pathology at the UCSF School of Medicine, where she was eventually hired as a Postdoctoral Scholar (05/2013-06/2016), working on fetal and pulmonary translational research projects.
Dr. Benjamin Figura
Dr. Benjamin Figura joined the Santa Clara Medical Examiner-Coroner in November 2022, having previously served as the Director and Forensic Anthropologist at the West Tennessee Regional Forensic Center in Memphis, TN since 2016. Prior to Memphis, Dr. Figura worked at the Office of Chief Medical Examiner in New York City as a forensic anthropologist and the Director of Identification. During his time in New York City he managed the World Trade Center identification project and responded to multiple mass fatality incidents. He received his Bachelor of Science in Anthropology at Michigan State University, a masters in Anthropology from California State University, Chico, and his PhD in Anthropology from the State University of New York at Binghamton. His research focuses on statistical methods for multifactorial disaster victim identification efforts. He has participated in response efforts to numerous mass fatality incidents including the World Trade Center, Thai tsunami, Hurricane Katrina, and numerous other smaller scale incidents. Dr. Figura is a board-certified forensic anthropologist through the American Board of Forensic Anthropology (ABFA) where he currently serves on the Board of Directors. He has been an active participant in national forensic standards organizations regarding disaster victim identification including the Organization of Scientific Area Committees and the Scientific Working Group for Disaster Victim Identification. He has also served as a gubernatorial appointed member and prior chair of the Medical Examiner Advisory Council for the State of Tennessee.
Has been employed as an Investigator since 1997. Prior to working in Santa Clara County, she was employed as an Investigator at the San Francisco Medical Examiner’s Office. Investigator Whelan has a B. A. in Biology, with minor degrees in Chemistry and Criminal Justice. In 2008, Investigator Whelan obtained a Master’s in Public Administration and her thesis project focused on the Social Justice Issues of Unclaimed Dead. She is a member of the California State Coroner’s Association, International Association of Coroners and Medical Examiners and a Registered Diplomate with the American Board of Medicolegal Death Investigators.
Laura Bailey joined the County of Santa Clara Medical Examiner-Coroner’s Office as the Chief Medical Examiner-Coroner Investigator in March 2023. Prior to joining, she served the community of San Mateo County by working in the Investigative and Pathology Divisions of the San Mateo County Coroner’s Office as a Deputy Coroner and Forensic Autopsy Technician for many years. While with the San Mateo County Coroner’s Office, she mentored and trained numerous Deputy Coroners and Forensic Autopsy Technicians and consistently strove to provide high quality, timely services to the community. She earned two coroner certificates through California POST guidelines and completed medicolegal death investigation training through the California Coroner Training Center. She also completed large scale incident response training through Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). She holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Forensic Science with a concentration in Biology and a Chemistry minor from San Jose State University and is a Registered Diplomate with the American Board of Medicolegal Death Investigators (D-ABMDI).
Senior Management Analyst
Candace Garcia joined in 2017
Senior Office Specialist, Nicole Lopez joined in 2017
Office Specialist III, Marisol Batres joined in 2019
Senior Office Specialist, Jacqueline Soriano joined in 2022
Administrative Assistant, Corinna Aguilar 2021
Forensic Autopsy Technicians
Misty Padilla joined in 2001
Charles Rios joined 2020
Ariel Flores joined 2021
Chris Garcia joined in 2001
Christina Pantoja joined in 2009
Jamie Giller joined 2017
Susan Stolberg joined in 2018
Waleed Kilany joined in 2018
Tristan Eicholz joined in 2022
Alyssa Moser joined in 2022
Laurel Carr joined in 2023
Ashley Sanghvi joined in 2023
Carmen Chandler joined in 2023
Daniela Landey - joined in 2023
Celena Rubio - joined in 2023