Role of the Coroner
The Boone County Coroner's Role is to determine cause and manner of death and provide care and justice for the deceased and for the family. The death investigation includes asking who, how, where, when, and why, and collecting the facts concerning the decedents death? Based on the investigation, the findings of the autopsy or toxicology results, the cause and manner of death are usually determined. The Coroner may work in conjunction with the State of Kentucky Medical Examiner’s Office to determine cause and manner of death.
The duty of a Coroner is to establish cause and manner of death through a complete death investigation. The cause is the event that specifically triggered a person to die, for example blunt force trauma due to a motor vehicle accident, and the manner is the classification of the death. The five manner types include Natural, Accidental, Suicide, Homicide, and Undetermined
What does the Kentucky Medical Examiner do?
The Kentucky Medical Examiner provides death investigation services and forensic autopsy services for deaths that occur in Kentucky when authorized by County Coroners or the Court. All deaths that are sudden or unexpected or occur from other than natural causes must be reported to the County Coroner, who then may authorize a postmortem examination by the Kentucky Medical Examiner’s Office. Our goal is to assist county coroners, families, law enforcement agencies and the legal system by determining a scientifically unbiased and logical cause and manner of death. The information gathered during a forensic death investigation and autopsy can be critical in civil or criminal court cases. Even in straightforward natural deaths, information from the death investigation or autopsy may help surviving family members protect their own health.
What is a Medical Examiner (and a Medical Examiner Investigation)?
The Kentucky Medical Examiners are licensed physicians trained in the specialty of forensic pathology. The Kentucky Medical Examiner is an independent entity and does not work for the Commonwealth Attorney, Coroner’s Office, or any law enforcement agency. Kentucky Medical Examiners are highly trained, experienced individuals who perform death investigations by documenting and interpreting medical findings, thus ensuring that death investigations are unbiased, thorough and accurate.