Why is a body brought to the coroner's office?
The remains of deceased persons are brought to the Coroner's Office because Ohio Law requires that the coroner investigate deaths of persons dying from criminal violence, by accident, by suicide, suddenly, when unattended by a physician for a reasonable period of time, in detention, or in any suspicious or unusual manner. Another reason that a body may be brought to the Coroner's Office is that the identity of the deceased or next of kin is unknown.
When is an autopsy performed?
Not all persons brought to the Coroner's Office are autopsied. Certain cases are not autopsied where no "foul play" is suspected and evidence of a natural death is present. In other cases where there is the possibility of legal proceedings which may arise as a result of a homicide, accident, suicide, etc., an autopsy will be performed. In these cases both positive and negative information is found which substantiates the ruling and cause of death as signed by the Coroner.
Does the coroner need permission from the next of kin for an autopsy?
Ohio Law (ORC 2108.52) provides that the Coroner does not need permission for an autopsy. The Office of the Coroner will attempt to comply with the wishes of the next of kin, if this does not conflict with the duties of the Coroner as charged by Ohio Law.
What is an autopsy and is there a charge for it?
An autopsy is a systematic examination by a qualified physician of the body of a deceased person for the purpose of determining the cause of death and recovering, from the body, evidence of the cause of death. A record is made of the findings of the autopsy including microscopic and toxicologic laboratory tests. These laboratory tests are conducted after the release of the body to the next of kin for burial. There is no charge to the next of kin for an autopsy nor for any of the tests which may be conducted by the Coroner.
How will the body be released?
Routinely, the Coroner releases the body to a licensed funeral director. The next of kin of the deceased person should notify a funeral director who, in turn, will arrange the transportation for the deceased to the funeral home and obtain the necessary documents for burial or cremation.
How can a funeral director be selected?
Most often, the next of kin discuss the selection of a funeral director with other family members, clergy, or friends. The Office of the Coroner is prohibited from recommending a funeral director. A listing of funeral directors is available in the telephone book as well as other sources
Where may the clothing of the deceased be located?
Usually the clothing of the deceased is released to the funeral director for disposal or use as the family requests. In cases of homicide, various suicides, or vehicular death, the clothing may be held by the Coroner for use as evidence.
How can the personal effects and other valuables of the deceased be obtained?
By Ohio Law (ORC 313.14) the Office of the Coroner will take possession of monies and other personal effects of the deceased. These items are inventoried and released to the next of kin. Money over $100.00 may only be released with a "Release From Probate Order" from the court or a "Letter of Appointment" naming an executor of the estate of the deceased.
How long does it take for a death ruling to be made?
Usually, a signed death certificate is available at the time the body is released from the Montgomery County Morgue. However, there are times when a "deferred" death certificate is issued. This is a result of insufficient information being available immediately after the autopsy is completed. This "deferred" death certificated enables the funeral services and burial to take place while additional chemical tests, microscopic slide preparation and examination, and investigation continue. At the culmination of these tests and investigation, the ruling is made based on all available information. A supplemental death certificate is then issued with the cause of death and ruling which supersedes the "deferred" death certificate.
When will the autopsy report be completed?
The autopsy report, also called the protocol, usually takes about eight weeks to be completed after the autopsy. If microscopic and chemical tests are performed, this time period can be slightly longer.
How can coroner records be obtained?
Most Coroner records are public records and are available for inspection during the normal office hours of 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., Monday through Friday, phone (937)225-4156. Appointments can be made to have an explanation of the records if necessary. Copies of the records are available at a cost of $1.00 per page.
Where can copies of death certificates be obtained?
Certified copies of death certificates can only be obtained from the Montgomery County Bureau of Vital Statistics in the Reibold Building at 117 S. Main St. Dayton, OH 45422. The telephone number is (937) 496-3114. Some funeral directors order additional copies of death certificates upon request of the family, for the family's convenience. For life insurance and other official purposes a certified copy is usually necessary.
How do I report a death?
When a person dies under any of the circumstances mentioned in Types of Death to be Reported, the death shall be reported to the Office of the Coroner.
In order to report a death, you should call the Office of the Coroner at (937) 225-4156, day or night, and state "I wish to report a death".
It is requested that the following information be given if known:
1) Name and address of the decedent
2) Age and date of birth
3) Social security number
4) Marital status
5) Next of kin, name address, phone number
6) Place and circumstances of occurrence
7) Date and time of occurrence
8) Date and time of death
9) Name of person pronouncing death
10) Any other information which may be helpful