Coroner personnel must determine whether a body will be released directly to a mortuary or taken to the county morgue for further evaluation; therefore, the Jefferson County Coroner's Office must be immediately notified whenever a death has occurred. If the death was expected due to a long illness, and if no suspicious or unusual occurrences hastened death, there is the potential for the decedent to be released to the mortuary from the scene.
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You should make a mortuary selection as soon as possible. When you make a mortuary selection, you will need to complete paperwork with that agency. They will then contact us to arrange for release of the decedent into their care. If you need a list of local mortuaries, please request this via email. If you are not local you may consider making contact with a mortuary in your area to ask them to assist with this process.
To claim personal property, the decedent’s legal next of kin should bring photo identification to the Jefferson County Coroner’s Office during business hours (Monday through Friday 8:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. to 4 p.m.). If you are not able to come to the office during business hours call our office at 303-271-6480.
In general, you will be directed to the next of kin for any information about the decedent.
The Jefferson County Coroner’s Office is not set up for viewings or visual identification. While we understand the need to visit a loved one who has died, we must insist that such visits occur at the mortuary after the body has been released. Also, forensic identification techniques are used to identify decedents in virtually every case.
Indigent individuals may qualify for burial assistance. Call the Jefferson County Coroner’s Office at 303-271-6480 for guidance and a referral.
In Jefferson County, death certificates are obtained via the mortuary or the Vital Statistics Office of Jefferson County Public Health at 303-271-6450. If an autopsy was performed, the autopsy report is a public record and may be requested via email. Most other records cannot be released. If you have a specific question or need specific information, contact our office at 303-271-6480.
The Jefferson County Coroner’s Office does not have volunteer or internship opportunities; however, there are programs with other offices in the area.
While the Jefferson County Coroner’s Office is obligated by Colorado Revised Statutes and the National Association of Medical Examiners to perform autopsies under specific circumstances, in many circumstances the manner and cause of death can be determined by review of scene investigation, external examination of the decedent, review of medical records, and interviews with physicians and family members. While the final decision to perform an autopsy rests with the Coroner, the next of kin’s wishes are considered.
Please visit our When to Notify the Coroner's Office of a Death page for more information.