Coroner – ORC Chapter 313
The coroner is an important part of the criminal and civil justice system. The coroner has the responsibility to investigate the cause of any death resulting from criminal or violent means, accidents, or in other situations where someone in good health dies, or where a death is suspicious or unusual. In auto accidents resulting in a fatality, the coroner must determine the blood alcohol content of the person killed in the accident.
The coroner works with law enforcement agencies and the county prosecutor in preparing cases for trial; may conduct inquests to ascertain the exact cause of death; performs autopsies, x-rays, toxicology tests; and often testifies as an expert witness on the cause and manner of death in court. Larger county coroners maintain morgues with professional pathologists to conduct autopsies, as well as laboratory facilities. These services are often utilized on a fee basis by smaller counties.