Contact: Tim Stepetic (505) 272-0733

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. - Rio Rancho High School senior Cynthia Wolski recently completed a six-week internship at the Office of the Medical Investigator (OMI). This is the first high school internship OMI has offered.

Wolski competed against other high school science students in Albuquerque for the internship by submitting an essay entitled "The Future of Forensics."

During her time with OMI, Wolski assisted investigators with many death scenes, autopsy process, packaged evidence, fingerprinted numerous decedents and reviewed John and Jane Doe cases against missing person’s data.

"This was the experience of a lifetime," said Wolski. "I got an up-close look at all of the careers in the field I want to pursue. How many people my age can say they’ve worked scenes with investigators and assisted autopsies with forensic pathologists?"

"We could not have had a better intern than Cynthia to inaugurate this internship program," said Tim Stepetic, operations director at OMI. "She was eager to take on any job that the office managed, regardless of the physical and emotional difficulties of the task. Her engagement with the office staff has them already looking forward to teaching and working with next year’s intern."

OMI hopes to continue the program with a state-wide competition next year, and possibly expand it to three positions once OMI moves into its new facility in May 2010.

OMI was created by the New Mexico State Legislature in 1972 and became operational in 1973. OMI is tasked with investigating all reportable deaths occurring in New Mexico, determining the cause and manner of death in such cases, and to provide formal death certification.