Sullivan County, Indiana

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Coroner's Office

Duties of the County Coroner

  1. IDENTIFICATION of the deceased 
  2. Determination of the CAUSE of death
  3. Determination of the MANNER of death

Identification may be as easy as having a family member at the scene when you get there or as difficult as having only a few bones to work with and having to utilize one of the many experts available to your coroner.


The cause of death is the final factor or event that happened to the deceased. If this had not happened, the individual would still be alive. This may be a cascade of factors or events, one following the other and this will be reflected on the death certificate that your coroner files with the county health department

  • asphyxia (inability to breathe), due to
  • chest compression, due to
  • settling of automobile, due to
  • failure of jacking apparatus

This group of factors is referred to as the mechanism, which lead to the asphyxia, which is the cause of death.


The manner of death is a descriptive grouping. It is, however, a firmly set, universally accepted acknowledgement of how people die. These possibilities are:

  • Homicide
  • Suicide
  • Accident 
  • Natural
  • Undetermined


Be advised that the time it takes the Coroner’s Office to release a death certificate could be up to 4- 6 weeks. This is due to awaiting results from toxicology laboratories in Indianapolis, IN. If there has been no autopsy done, a death certificate should be available within 7-10 business days.

For more information, visit the Indiana State Coroners' Training Board 

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