Office of the Coroner
The Coroner is an elected county wide official serving for a four year term. The Coroner's office is a law enforcement agency, which, as part of the system of checks and balances, investigates the cause and manner of deaths that occur in the county. The Boone County Coroner investigates all deaths reported to our office that fall under KRS Chapter 72.KRS 72.025 Circumstances requiring post-mortem examination to be performed by coroner or medical examiner
- When the death of a human being appears to be caused by homicide or violence
- When the death of a human being appears to be the result of suicide
- When the death of a human being appears to be the result of the presence of drugs or poisons in the body
- When the death of a human being appears to be the result of a motor vehicle accident and the operator of the motor vehicle left the scene of the accident or the body was found in or near a roadway or railroad
- When the death of a human being occurs while the person is in a state mental institution or mental hospital when there is no previous medical history to explain the death, or while the person is in police custody, a jail or penal institution
- When the death of a human being occurs in a motor vehicle accident and when an external examination of the body does not reveal a lethal traumatic injury
- When the death of a human being appears to be the result of a fire or explosion
- When the death of a child appears to indicate child abuse prior to the death
- When the manner of death appears to be other than natural
- When human skeletonized remains are found
- When post-mortem decomposition of a human corpse exists to the extent that external examination of the corpse cannot rule out injury or where the circumstances of death cannot rule out the commission of a crime
- When the death of a human being appears to be the result of drowning
- When the death of an infant appears to be caused by sudden infant death syndrome in that the infant has no previous medical history to explain the death
- When the death of a human being occurs as a result of an accident
- When the death of a human being occurs under the age of forty (40) and there is no past medical history to explain the death
- When the death of a human being occurs at the work site and there is no apparent cause of death such as an injury or when industrial toxics may have contributed to the cause of death
- When the body is to be cremated and there is no past medical history to explain the death
- When the death of a human being is sudden and unexplained; and
- When the death of a human being occurs and the decedent is not receiving treatment by a licensed physician and there is no ascertainable medical history to indicate the cause of death.
- Conducts a complete death investigation addressing the medical and social history, examination of the body, and scene investigation.
- Provides confirmed decedent identification
- Confirms and certifies an individual’s death
- Responds and investigates all manners of death, Natural, Accident, Suicide, Homicide, or Undetermined
- Uses forensic science implementation and interpretation
- Works in conjunction with law enforcement and the State Medical Examiner’s Office
- Works with Public Health to recognize and address public health issues, i.e. drug overdose epidemic, disease outbreak, etc.
- Responds to all mass fatalities
- Has education and experience in death investigation
- Collects evidence, provides chain of custody, evidence integrity and preservation
- Must be certified through the state of Kentucky
- Obtains annual continued education in death investigation
What Can You Expect?
When someone dies, a call is generally made to 911. This results in a response from the local law enforcement agency, fire department and ambulance service. If the decedent is not transported to the hospital, the Boone County Coroner’s Office is notified to respond. A medical/legal death investigation will be conducted to determine if any suspicious circumstances exist and to gather information necessary for determining cause and manner of death. During the investigation, the coroner’s office will determine if an autopsy in needed.
- The Coroner or Deputy Coroner/Death Investigator will respond and will do the following:
- 1) Introduce themselves and get a history of events surrounding the death and obtain medical history information.
- 2) Establish identity of the decedent or gather information to assist with positive identification.
- 3) Document details from the scene (which may include photographs), perform a physical examination of the decedent, and possibly collect toxicology samples.
- 4) Determine if an autopsy will be done.