Duties of the Coroner

Scene Investigations – Examine the body, the scene, the facts, and circumstances surrounding the death.

History – Review all history to include recent activities, complaints, circumstances, as well as medications and medical treatment. Interview witnesses, family members and others with pertinent information.

Personal Effects – Document as well as safeguard personal effects and property found on or about the person at the time of death until released to the legal representative of the decedent.

Identification and Notification – Establish the identity of the decedent by positive means. Confirm through investigation the identity of the legal next-of-kin as well as conduct or arrange for personal notification.

Examinations – Determine the need for examinations by other experts as needed. These may include radiological exams, autopsies by the Forensic Pathologists, dental exams by Forensic Odonatologist, toxicological testing of body fluids and/or substances and other pertinent examinations as needed.

Correlate – Review all information obtained from various sources to establish the cause and manner of death in addition to determine if criminal activity or criminal neglect was involved in the death.

Authorize Cremation – Each of these deaths must be reviewed and often contact must be made with the physician’s office or the medical records department of the facility where death occurred before a written release is completed and faxed to the funeral home prior to cremation.

Removal and care of the decedent’s body – Physically remove or supervise proper removal of the body from the scene using the proper equipment and supplies and assume chain of custody.

Completion of all necessary reports, forms or certificates – Write a brief report, completes other forms as needed to finalize the case. Issues a death certificate when the death falls under the Coroner’s jurisdiction.

Technology and Education – Continually research the latest a advancements in medicolegal death investigation. Complete a minimum of eight hours of continuing education each year.