Coroner Duties: Do You Know What a Coroner Does?

Coroner duties may vary from state to state or county to county, but here in Hancock County, Indiana, the Coroner has many important responsibilities. Coroner duties primarily encompass the investigation of any unwitnessed or questionable deaths, as well as determining the overall manner, cause and time of death for any individual that dies in the county. In Indiana, Coroners are elected officials. They are state-certified Medicolegal Death Investigators who are also required to complete educational hours for continued certification. What are some other Coroner duties? Read on:

Coroner Duties and Responsibilities

In Hancock County, Indiana, the Coroner investigates many deaths, including natural deaths, deaths after recent admission to a hospital, sudden or unexpected deaths, and cases involving alcohol or other drugs of abuse.

The Hancock County Coroner also investigates homicides and suicides, as well as deaths of incarcerated inmates. The Coroner investigates deaths due to vehicle or workplace accidents, too, along with deaths of transplant surgery donors when the death was a result of some type of trauma. And the Medicolegal Death Investigator may also be called to investigate deaths where it is suspected the death was caused by a disease that may pose a public health threat.

In carrying out the Coroner duties, the Coroner will go to the scene of the death, maintain control and security of the decedent and any evidence contained within the scene, and interview any witnesses or family as to pertinent information regarding the case.

When applicable, the Coroner will coordinate with all other agencies involved in the accident or death investigation, including the police, FBI, FEMA, Fire Departments, and others. Likewise, the Coroner will coordinate with any new agencies requesting details pertaining to any suspicious, accidental or notable individual deaths.

The Coroner will coordinate with the forensic pathologist if an autopsy is warranted, and will attend the procedure to provide the pathologist with needed scene details, photographs, and any information that will help facilitate the pathologist’s determination. (If an autopsy is not warranted, the Coroner may carry out required blood draws for toxicology purposes and send to laboratories for testing.) Once the cause and manner of death is dictated by the pathologist, the Coroner’s office will then sign the death certificate with the appropriate information.

The elected Coroner also manages deputies and their schedules, and handles day-to-day office duties for payroll, payment of invoices, and coordination of information with state and local agencies.

Stillinger Family Funeral Home

Here at Stillinger Family Funeral Home in Greenfield, Indiana, we routinely coordinate our activities upon completion of Coroner duties. We honor and respect the work of the Coroner and all county investigators and associated agencies. And as the elected County Coroner, David Stillinger is honored to serve Hancock County residents.

For more information about the office of the Hancock County Coroner, click HERE. For more information about Stillinger Family Funeral Home, contact us at (317) 462-5536.

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