From Cradle to Court: An Interview with Child Death Investigator Lisa Mayhew


Join Jan Burke and DP Lyle, M.D. when they interview Lisa Mayhew, Child Death Investigator/Trainer for the North Carolina Office of Chief Medical Examiner. We’ll talk about the leading causes of children’s deaths, about the work of trying to determine whether a child’s death has been natural, accidental, homicide, or suicide. Lisa Mayhew will tell us why it is important — for the sake of children — that we overcome our reticence to learn more about why children die. Join us for a fascinating program on a subject many consider taboo.



With both her bachelor and master degrees in Child Development, Lisa Mayhew has worked as a child development specialist in North Carolina since 1992. She has provided direct therapy services to children, as well as providing consultation and training within North Carolina and across the US in areas related to child development. She specializes in the 0-3 year population, children with special needs and interdisciplinary collaboration. She has served as the Child Death Investigator/Trainer for the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner since 2000 conducting investigations of child deaths statewide, and providing assistance in investigations to local and state agencies. In addition, Lisa operates the Child Death Investigation Training Program in conjunction with the North Carolina Justice Academy to agencies statewide involved in the investigation of child fatalities. She provides training to local and state law enforcement agencies across the US, and is the author of  Child Death Investigations: Interdisciplinary Techniques from Cradle to Court available through Carolina Academic Press. She served as a consultant in the development of the Infant/Child Death Investigation Kit with Tri Tech Forensics and is an instructor for their training institute. Her trainings are also offered through the Public Agency Training Council.

Lisa Mayhew, Child Death Investigations: Interdisciplinary Techniques from Cradle to Court, 2nd edition, Carolina Academic Press (2012)
To purchase the book we referred to on the subject of mothers who kill, Behavioral Analysis of Maternal Filicide, by Joy Lynn E. Shelton et al, visit



North Carolina Office of the Chief Medical Examiner
North Carolina Child Fatality Prevention Program (this page includes links to several reports)
Prevent Child Abuse North Carolina
CDC Statistics – Child Mortality
CDC 10 leading causes of death by age group (PDF files and charts)
Reuters story on UNICEF 2012 report on violence against children
PDF of study from Child Welfare Bureau of the Dept of Health and Human Services on Child Abuse Neglect and Abuse Fatalities 2012
To see statistics on child fatalities in your state, use your search engine (Google, Bing, Yahoo, DuckDuckGo, etc.) to find results for “child fatalities [your state]”
CDC Site on Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS)
Bereaved Parents of the USA
National Organization of Parents of Murdered Children

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