Information for Families
Responsibility to Families
In the investigation of your loved one’s death the coroner, deputy coroner, and coroner investigators have the responsibility to:
- Treat your loved one’s body with respect and dignity.
- Safeguard all clothing and personal items and arrange their release to you.
- Perform examinations in a timely manner.
- Keep you informed of the progress of our investigation.
- Explain our findings to you.
- Answer your questions.
Organ / Tissue Donation
If the deceased person is a suitable tissue or organ donor, donation can almost always take place. If the next-of-kin wishes donation to be performed, we will work with the agencies involved to enable donation to take place.
In order to reliably determine the cause and manner of a person’s death, it is important to examine his or her body. The extent of examination depends upon the person’s history, the circumstances of his or her death, and questions which may be raised by family members or others.
In many cases, a complete autopsy is necessary. However, at times, only a limited examination is needed. In either case, examination usually includes testing for drugs and alcohol. As we do not have the capability to perform all examinations within Clark County, some autopsies are performed at the Montgomery County Coroner’s Office.
We will explain the planned examination and will answer any questions you may have. We will make every reasonable effort to complete the examination as soon as possible. Usually, examinations can be completed within 24 hours.
Release of Your Loved One’s Body
As soon as our examination is completed your loved one’s body can be released to whomever you have chosen to handle burial or cremation. Once you have told us your choice, there is nothing else you need to do. We will notify them and will release your loved one’s body as soon as they are ready to accept it.