The Investigative Unit is comprised of 18 Deputy Coroner and five Supervising Deputy Coroner positions. The unit is responsible for determining coroner jurisdiction on all deaths reported to the office. Cases are assigned to a Deputy Coroner and that Deputy is the case manager from that point forward. Pursuant to law and policy, they determine the extent of inquiry and, when necessary, respond to where the body lies to inspect the body making note of appearance, physical position, and the environment. They interview witnesses; take photographs; and examine wills, medical records, and other legal documents. They establish the identity of the deceased, and when necessary, they order autopsies and request other specialized tests. The Deputy Coroners are responsible for notification to the next of kin. They take custody of all personal effects found at the death scene and safeguard them until the legal next of kin is determined. They use all of this information to prepare and sign a certificate of death reflecting the cause and manner of death and make a final report summarizing all of their findings.
Supervising Deputy Coroners serve as watch commanders of the coroner division, schedule and coordinate work assignments of deputy coroner staff while advising them on procedures and answering their questions regarding problems that develop during investigations. They review autopsy and investigative findings before a final cause and classification of death is determined.
Senior Deputy Coroners & Deputy Coroners conduct investigations on deaths occurring within the county which fall under coroner’s jurisdiction. These investigations can entail response to the scene of death, collection of evidence and personal property for safekeeping and analysis, interviewing subjects and ordering response by various technical specialists such as criminalists and photographers.
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