Why is a body brought to the Coroner's office?
When is an autopsy performed?
Who will transport the deceased ?
Does the Coroner need permission from the next-of-kin for an autopsy?
What is an autopsy and is there a charge?
How and when will the body be released?
How can a funeral director be selected?
How can the personal effects and clothing of the deceased be obtained?
When will the autopsy report be completed and how can I obtain a copy?
How long does it take for a death ruling to be made?
How can Coroner records be obtained?
Where can copies of the death certificate be obtained?


Why is a body brought to the Coroner's office?
The remains of deceased persons are brought to the Coroner's Office because Ohio Law requires that the Coroner investigate deaths of persons caused by criminal violence, accident, or suicide, dying suddenly, when unattended by a physician for a reasonable period of time, in detention, when under 2 years of age, or in any suspicious or unusual manner. Another reason that a body may be brought to the Coroner's Office is that the identity of the deceased or next-of-kin is unknown.

When is an autopsy performed?
Not all persons brought to the Coroner's Office are autopsied. Certain cases are not autopsied where no "foul play" is suspected and evidence of a natural death is present, in other cases where there is the possibility of legal proceedings which may arise as a result of a homicide, accident, suicide, etc., an autopsy will be reformed. In these cases both positive and negative information is found which substantiates the ruling and cause of death as signed by the Coroner. Under a new change in the Ohio Revised Code, any child under age 2 years that is referred to the Coroner's Office with no known potentially lethal disease shall be autopsied unless contrary to the parent's religious beliefs.

Who will transport the deceased ?
Transportation will be provided by the Office of the Coroner to the respective county morgue for all bodies, which the Coroner has a legal obligation to examine. After the examination has been competed, the decedent's family will be responsible for contacting the funeral director of their choice to make arrangements for the funeral disposition of the decedent's body.

Does the Coroner need permission from the next-of-kin for an autopsy?
Ohio Law (ORC 2108.52) provides that the Coroner does not need permission for an autopsy. A family may object to an autopsy because of religious beliefs, as stated in section 313.13.1 of the Ohio Revised Code. In this case the Coroner will review the matter and determine whether it is absolutely necessary to perform an autopsy over the family's objections. If after careful review the Coroner determines an autopsy is required, the family may ask the court to intervene. These legal proceedings may take several days and will delay the release of the body to the funeral director. It is important for family members to inform the coroner's office immediately if they have any objection to an autopsy since most begin as soon as the body arrives at the coroner's office.

What is an autopsy and is there a charge?
An autopsy is a systematic examination by a forensic pathologist of the body of a deceased person for the purpose of determining the cause and manner of death and of recovering from the body evidence which might be needed in a criminal or civil legal action. A record is made of the findings of the autopsy including microscopic and toxicologic laboratory tests. These laboratory tests are conducted after the release of the body for burial. There is no charge to the next-of-kin for an autopsy or any of the tests which may be conducted by the Coroner.

How and when will the body be released?
Routinely, the body is released to a licensed funeral director within 48 hours. The next-of-kin should notify a funeral director who, in turn, will arrange to secure a written release from the next-of-kin, arrange transportation for the deceased to the funeral home and obtain the necessary documents for burial or cremation.

How can a funeral director be selected?
Most often, the next-of-kin discusses this with other family members, clergy or friends. The Coroner is prohibited from recommending a funeral director. A listing of funeral directors can be found in the telephone book.

How can the personal effects and clothing of the deceased be obtained?
Usually the clothing of the deceased is released with the body to the funeral director for disposal or use as the family directs. In cases of homicides, vehicular accidents, and other situations where examination or retention of the clothing is necessary, it will be held by the Coroner's Office. Personal effects such as wallets, money, jewelry, etc., are inventoried and released to the next-of-kin. The next-of-kin may contact the Coroner's Office to arrange to take possession of the belongings.

When will the autopsy report be completed and how can I obtain a copy?
The autopsy report usually takes about 6 weeks to complete after the autopsy when only routine toxicology and microscopic examination take place. In-depth or special toxicology or other studies may prolong the time needed for completion.

How long does it take for a death ruling to be made?
This procedure is handled differently by the various Counties. However, in most cases, a signed death certificate will be released by the Coroner in four to six weeks. When there is insufficient information available to complete the death certificate, a "Pending Findings, Facts and Verdict" death certificate enables the funeral services and burial to take place while additional chemical, microscopic slides preparation and examination, and investigation continues. At the culmination of these tests and investigation, the ruling is made based on all available information. A supplemental death certificate is then issued with the cause of death and ruling which supersedes the "Pending" death certificate.

How can Coroner records be obtained?
Call the Coroner's Office at (513) 785-5860. The procedure and fee will be explained at that time.

Where can copies of the death certificate be obtained?
Death Certificates must be obtained from the City in which the event occurred.

City Of Hamilton Health Dept.
345 High Street 3RD Floor
Hamilton, Ohio 45011
513-785-7080

Middletown Health Dept.
One Donham Plaza
Middletown, Ohio 45042
513-425-7851

Butler County Health Dept.
301 South Third St.
Hamilton, Ohio 45011
513-863-1770


Lisa K. Mannix M.D.,
Coroner
       When to Report A Death
       Ohio Coroner Duties
       Ohio Laws
       Records Request Policy


Government Services Center
315 High Street | Hamilton, OH 45011 | Phone: 513.785.5860