Coroner

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By Ohio law, the Ashtabula County coroner is a part-time elected official. The office is a 24/7 operation. We are staffed with the coroner, 2 full-time investigators and 1 part-time administrative assistant.

Investigations
The Ashtabula County Coroner’s Office is authorized by the laws of the State of Ohio to conduct independent investigations into sudden, unexpected, unnatural, suspicious, or violent death. The Ohio Legislature, by law, has chosen to separate the coroner’s office from law enforcement and has given the Coroner’s Office specific authority into the investigations of death.

The standard forensic (medical and legal) issues in a coroner’s Death Investigation Case require medical facts and often many non-medical facts that allow a conclusion to be made about the manner of death. Investigation by specially trained coroner investigators then becomes of paramount importance.

Responsibilities
Some of the duties of the Ashtabula County Coroner’s Office include:
  • Determine the approximate date and time of death, as well as the cause and manner of death
  • Determine the need for an autopsy and / or toxicology
  • Photograph and document the scene
  • Preserve, process and collect evidence at the scene, including the interview of witnesses, family members, physicians, etc.
  • Removal of the body in a dignified manner with timely notification of next-of-kin
  • Sign and file death certificates
  • Respond and thoroughly investigate death scenes, 24 hours a day / 7 days a week
The Coroner’s Office interacts with family members, during and after the death investigation, to ensure an unbiased, accurate and thorough investigation. The Coroner’s Office also works closely with other agencies including law enforcement, governmental and health agencies, hospitals and funeral homes.

Education & Training
Training and education is an important issue with the Coroner’s Office. The office provides educational training, in the field of death investigation, to law enforcement, fire, health and community service agencies. The coroner and investigators also receive ongoing continuing education by attending death investigation, medical and forensic seminars.