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State law requires the coroner to inquire into and determine the circumstances, cause, and manner of all unexpected, traumatic, or unknown causes of death. A final death certificate is issued after the investigation is completed by the Jefferson County Coroner's Office. Occasionally, a more extensive evaluation is required, in which a pending cause of death will be listed on the death certificate, until a final determination can be made. *A pending cause of death can still be used by a mortuary for final services.
The decedent may be taken to the Coroner's Office located at 800 Jefferson County Pkwy, Golden, CO. 80401, phone: 303-271-6480, or the decedent may be transported directly to the mortuary of the legal next-of-kin's choice, upon approval of the coroner investigator.
The Coroner’s Office is not designed to provide viewing. Arrangements can be made with the mortuary for viewing purposes. If positive identification is needed, a coroner investigator will contact the appropriate person for means of ID.
As soon as possible, the legal next-of-kin should select a mortuary and inform the mortuary that the case is being handled by the Jefferson County Coroner's Office. Ask them to please contact us. Should the death of your relative/friend occur on a weekend or holiday, you may still contact the mortuary. Our office does not select mortuaries. In the event arrangements are being made on behalf of the next-of-kin, it is preferable that the Coroner's Office be provided with written authorization, signed by the legal next-of-kin, to release the decedent. If this is not possible, please call the Coroner's Office for assistance. In the event someone is making arrangements for the family, it is preferable that the Coroner's Office be provided with written authorization signed by the legal next-of-kin to release the decedent.
A fax can be sent directly to 303-271-6488. The following format should be used:
ATTN: JEFFERSON COUNTY CORONER, JEFFERSON COUNTY COLORADO:
RELEASE THE REMAINS OF MY (relationship and name of decedent)
TO: (name of mortuary selected). SIGNED: (name and relationship).
If the decedent is to be transported out of state, the name of the local mortuary that will be picking up the decedent must be included.
An autopsy will be performed at no cost to the legal next-of-kin when there is a need to establish the cause and/or manner of death, according to Colorado State Statute, or when it is of forensic value. The legal next-of-kin has the option of a private autopsy if the Coroner’s Office determines there is no forensic value in doing an autopsy. This will be at cost to the legal next-of-kin/requester.
The decedent will be released after the Coroner’s Office determines there is no further evidence needed from the body and when the appropriate release paperwork is established.
Death certificates are filed by the mortuary at the county health department in the county where the death was pronounced. Should you require copies, they may be ordered from the mortuary or purchased from the county health department.
Generally, it should not take more than two to three days. Your mortuary director will coordinate the release on your behalf. The completed autopsy report with the pathologist’s findings will be available approximately 6-8 weeks after the autopsy.
No. The Coroner's Office does not assess fees for our investigation.
The approval of the Coroner's Office is required for tissue/organ donation for deaths that are under auspices of the Coroner's jurisdiction. With legal next-of-kin consent, the family's wishes for donation will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis by donor. You may be contacted by a donation representative. The Jefferson County Coroner's Office will assist in the coordination of tissue/organ donation as each case warrants.
For information, contact Veteran's Affairs at 303-980-1300. Your mortuary may also assist you with Military Veterans and Social Security benefits.
During regular business hours, you may call the American Red Cross at 303-237-7785. After hours, please call 303-722-7474. The Red Cross will assist you in the notification of the decedent’s legal next-of-kin and arrangements for the family member's return home.
If the decedent does not have sufficient funds for burial, the legal next-of-kin may apply for burial assistance. Contact can be made at www.jeffco.us/2635/burialassistance. A representative will schedule an interview time.
Any personal possessions in the custody of the Coroner’s Office may be claimed by the legal next-of-kin. To avoid any inconvenience to you, please call 303-271-6480 prior to coming to the office. You will be advised of any documents that may be needed and of any other requirements. Personal property may be claimed at the Coroner's Office, Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m.- 4 p.m.; or property may be released with the decedent to the mortuary. Clothing is not usually considered property. Unless there is a need to hold clothing as evidence, it is released to the mortuary with the decedent. Clothing that represents a health hazard may be disposed of for the safety of all persons involved.
To enter a sealed residence, you need to obtain permission from the agency listed on the resident's door. Should the Jefferson County Coroner's Office have keys to the residence, and no seal is on the residence, the legal next-of-kin may obtain keys during regular business hours. The Public Administrator Office is another resource for information and can be reached at 720-638-1465.
We trust that the advice and counseling provided by your mortuary and the information provided in this brochure will be of help. However, should you need additional assistance, please call our office at 303-271-6480.