The Jefferson County Coroner’s Office responded to 1,079 death scenes which accounted for 72.7% of all deaths reported to the Coroner’s Office in 2020 in which jurisdiction was assumed.
A scene response is most often made at the request of a law enforcement agency; however, the Coroner’s Office also responds to calls at other locations such as hospitals and care centers as deemed necessary when these deaths are reported by facility staff.
During a scene investigation involving a law enforcement agency, the law enforcement agency has jurisdiction over the scene while the Coroner’s Office has jurisdiction over the body and items directly relating to the death.
Law enforcement has the responsibility to determine if a crime has occurred and the Coroner’s Office is responsible for determining the cause and manner of death. It is essential that both agencies work collaboratively to reach both agencies’ determinations.
At the conclusion of a scene investigation, the coroner investigator makes a determination whether to have the body of the decedent transported to the Coroner’s Office for further examination/investigation, positive identification and/or notification of next of kin or to release the body directly from the scene.
The Coroner’s Office may transport a body to the Coroner’s Office as a courtesy hold for the next-of-kin while a mortuary selection is being made.
The annual report was prepared by Melinda Rose, F-ABMDI.