Retired chief medical examiner for Guam, Dr. Aurelio Espinola, has passed away.  His daughter posted on social media today confirming his passing, “Dad, I love you so much. Rest in paradise…til we meet again.”

Espinola was the island’s only medical examiner for 25 years prior to his retirement in 2019.  Gov. Lou Leon Guerrero, then, issued him the Ancient Order of Chamorri for his decades of service.

“Dr. Espinola has gained respect from the judges of the Guam Supreme Court and Superior Court, jurists, law enforcement agencies both local and federal and the Guam Medical Association. His stint here in Guam started when he made a brief stopover in Guam when another kabayan local physician Dr. Ernesto Espaldon invited him to settle in Guam and accept a medical job,” the administration stated in the order. “Guam is so fortunate to have had Dr. Espinola for his love for the people of Guam.”

Dr. Espinola grew close to many in the community including former KUAM News anchor and current Director of Communications Krystal Paco-San Agustin.

“I’m heartbroken to learn of the passing of former Chief Medical Examiner, Dr. Aurelio Espinola. During my career as a news reporter assigned to the crime beat, I was always eager to interview him and learn more about his latest autopsy findings,” said Paco-San Agustin. “More than his work in the morgue and on the field solving crimes and bringing closure to countless families, he was a great teacher, and he helped me to understand the mechanics of everything from gunpowder to stab wounds and car crashes.

He truly is one of the most fascinating people I’ve ever met, which is why I enjoyed my regular visits to his office and our encounters at the courthouse during a big trial. He loved to share with me about his early career–bringing life into this world as an OB-GYN and later as a doctor for the dead. He will surely be missed.”