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http://www.health.pa.gov/MyRecords/Certificates/Pages/11596.aspx or by telephone: 724-656-3100 or toll-free 844-228-3516
Another reason the Coroner may be involved is that the identity of the deceased or next-of-kin is unknown, or the individual is unclaimed by family.
A record is made on the findings of the autopsy, including microscopic and toxicology laboratory tests. These laboratory tests are conducted before the release of the body to the next-of-kin and for burial.
There's no charge to the next-of-kin for an autopsy when a case is determined to fall under the Coroner's jurisdiction, nor for any other test that may be conducted by the Coroner.
In other cases where the possibility of legal proceedings may arise as a result of a homicide, accident, suicide, etc, an autopsy may be performed.
In these cases, both positive and negative information ordinarily is found, which substantiates the ruling and the cause of death as signed by the Coroner.
When there is insufficient information available to complete the death certificate, a “pending” death certificate is issued. This death certificate enables the funeral services and burial to take place while additional chemical, microscopic, slide preparation and examination, and the 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 the ruling which supersedes the “pending” death certificate.
If microscopic and chemical tests are performed, this time period can lengthen. The Coroner, along with the pathologist, work very hard to determine and complete the cause of death in a timely manner.
There are some circumstances that arise where more time is needed to determine the cause and manner of death.
In cases of homicide, suicides, or vehicular deaths, the clothing may be held by the Coroner or the investigating law enforcement agency for use as evidence.
The next-of-kin of the deceased person should notify a funeral director who in turn will arrange transportation for the deceased to the funeral home.
The great majority of these deaths are certified by the attending physicians and would not otherwise fall under the jurisdiction of the coroner. This additional workload justifies a specific fee to be paid by the users of the specific service, rather than the taxpayers in general.
Approximately 1,000 cremations are authorized each year in this county.
Families are still responsible for the cost of a funeral or cremation.
We will provide you with phone numbers for such a service upon your request.
When an investigation is ongoing, in conjunction with law enforcement, we may restrict the detail of any information that is released. Any information that may jeopardize the outcome of an investigation will not be released until the investigation has concluded.
A photograph of the decedent will be viewed by the next-of-kin for positive identification when necessary.
To prevent a false notification, the Coroner’s Office wants to be absolutely sure of the identify of the victim before notification. Please remember that although the victim may have been separated from his/her spouse, without a legally recognized separation or divorce decree, the spouse is still the legal next-of-kin and is usually the one who will be notified.
Sometimes this may present a difficulty to other family members who believe they should be the ones notified. Locating next-of-kin, especially if out of state or country, make take some time.
The Coroner and/or a deputy along with a uniformed police officer usually makes death notification for the Washington County Coroner’s Office.
The charges are:Autopsy Report: $100.00Toxicology Report: $ 50.00Coroner's Report: $ 50.00