Law and Order

Dr. Melinda Warner is a medical examiner in the New York City Police Department.


After working as a doctor in the United States Air Force to pay for medical school and serving two tours during the Gulf War, Warner left the military to take care of her daughter, and became an Assistant Medical Examiner for the NYPD. (SVU: "Blast") In 2000, having reached the rank of Medical Examiner, she was assigned to the 16th Precinct to replace Dr. Elizabeth Rodgers who had begun to work for the Major Case Squad in addition to the Homicide Department. These two units took up most of Rodgers' time, and she had to discontinue service to the Special Victims Unit. (SVU: "Noncompliance")

Over the years, Warner has become an integral part of the Manhattan Special Victims Unit and her personal skills have contributed to the unit's high success rate in closing cases.

Warner prevents Daniel Hunter, a drug-addicted bank robber, from trying to commit suicide by cop by shooting him in the leg in a case that she gets intimately involved in due to her earlier diagnosing Daniel's kidnapping victim, his own sister, with leukemia. (SVU: "Blast")

After Ryan Bedford dies following a chase with Stabler, Warner rules that he died from internal bleeding as a result of a ruptured spleen. As a result of her ruling, and because of Stabler's history of excessive force, he was indicted on murder charges. Warner later visited Stabler at his home and apologized, but Stabler forgave her since he knew that Warner was just doing her job. However, after Stabler revealed that he had tried to save Ryan's life with CPR, which wasn't in the EMS report, Warner realized that the ruptured spleen could have been from the chest compressions rather than Stabler's actions. Going through the case file and Ryan's medical records with Stabler, Warner revised her autopsy results to state that Ryan had died from a fatal arrhythmia brought on by the stress of the chase and his untreated Long QT syndrome. After Warner testified before the grand jury on Stabler's behalf, the charges against him were dismissed. (SVU: "Dependent")

She was shot by Sophie Gerard, a troubled and grieving mother, during a standoff inside the morgue. (SVU: "Shattered") Neal Baer, producer from the show confirmed on his Twitter account that she survived.[1] She is later seen back on the job; when Stabler and Benson question her ruling a death as a homicide, she says "I was shot in the lung, not the head."

Warner revealed to Benson that a sex trafficker that she has arrested while trying to find his victim is Noah's father. (SVU: "Undercover Mother")

When it was suspected that Carl Rudnick was a serial killer and psychopath, Warner was brought in to reevaluate autopsies that Rudnick performed on his own victims. When she asked what was going on, Detective Tutuola discreetly warned Warner to be careful of Rudnick as Benson couldn't tell Warner much due to the open investigation. (SVU: "Devil's Dissections")

After Rudnick was arrested on multiple murder charges, including that of Susie Frain, Greg Yates's fiancé, Warner expressed how furious she was with Rudnick, stating that everybody Rudnick had examined had to be re-examined and that he had caused a huge mess in the medical examiner's office. (SVU: "Criminal Pathology")

It is later revealed that Warner was eventually promoted to Chief medical examiner. (SVU: "Pathological")

She examined Simon Marsden after he seemingly committed suicide and notified Benson, who came to the morgue to identify her brother. (SVU: "Murdered at a Bad Address")

Melinda was intimately involved in the COVID-19 pandemic response, telling Benson and Tutuola during one case that she had examined heaps of bodies of people who had died from the virus. (SVU: "Remember Me In Quarantine")

Involved Shootings


  • During her time in the Air Force, Warner received training in the use of firearms. (SVU: "Blast")
  • According to Detective Elliot Stabler, Warner hates cold weather and always sends her assistants to crime scenes on cold days. (SVU: "Mean")
  • Warner is the only Medical Examiner in the whole Law & Order franchise to appear in the opening credits of the series.
  • Warner's daughter was born in 1991.
  • In "Blast", Warner was personally involved in a case by informing parents that their kidnapped daughter had leukemia. Later on, she shot the perpetrator in the leg, preventing him from committing suicide by cop.
  • Dr. Warner is married and has one daughter, who was mentioned twice on the show. (SVU: "Blast", "Juvenile") She also had a dog named Petey. (SVU: "Beef") She also mentions having a sister who is a buyer at Saks. (SVU: "Streetwise")



Icon SVU.jpg Law & Order: Special Victims Unit - Main Characters

Senior Detectives: Elliot StablerJohn MunchOdafin TutuolaOlivia BensonAmanda Rollins

Junior Detectives: Olivia BensonMonique JeffriesOdafin TutuolaChester LakeAmanda RollinsNick AmaroDominick Carisi, Jr.Katriona TaminJoe Velasco

Squad Supervisors: John MunchOlivia BensonOdafin Tutuola

Commanding Officers: Donald CragenOlivia BensonChristian Garland

Assistant District Attorneys: Alexandra CabotCasey NovakKim GreylekRafael BarbaPeter StoneDominick Carisi, Jr.

Others: Melinda WarnerGeorge Huang