Role of the Coroners’ Office

The Douglas County Coroners’ office serves the citizens of Douglas County by determining cause, manner, and mechanisms of death; for any unexpected, unattended, or suspicious death that occurs within Douglas County. (RCW 68.50.010)

It is the Coroners’ responsibility to investigate the scene of the death, usually in conjunction with a law enforcement agency. Conduct external exams. Notify the next of kin of the death. Conduct toxicology test and arrange for autopsies to be performed when necessary; and complete death certificates when jurisdiction is assumed.

Examinations are performed to document evidence of injury and disease. Examinations may include autopsies. The autopsy is a test used by a pathologist to determine the cause of death and to collect specimens for toxicology. Autopsies are performed at the discretion of the Coroner in accordance with RCW statutes.