In Wyoming, coroners investigate deaths due to:
- Violent or Criminal action
- Apparent suicide
- Apparent drug or chemical overdose or toxicity
- The deceased was unattended by a physician or other licensed health care provider
- Apparent child abuse causes
- Unknown cause(s)
In Wyoming, coroners also investigate:
- Unattended deaths, or deceased having not seen a physician within six months prior to death.
- Deaths of prisoners, trustees, inmates or patients of any county or state corrections facility or state hospital
- Certain deaths that occur in hospital settings but are conservatively considered ‘unattended’ (for example, an ER death caused by an event outside of the hospital).
Coroners also perform the following duties:
- Pronouncing death and determining the time of death
- Documenting the death scene and performing interviews to determine medical and social circumstances
- Skillfully removing the deceased from the scene, taking care not to disturb evidence
- Positively identifying the deceased with the aid of dental records, fingerprints and X-rays
- Determining need for autopsy and arranging for autopsies to be performed
- Identifying next-of-kin and notifying family members in a respectful and sensitive manner
- Completing death certificates* and other records once an investigation is complete
- Providing conclusive information and records to family members, law enforcement, and health care professionals
- Testifying objectively in legal matters
- Working with county, state and federal agencies to proactively develop disaster/emergency plans
*Coroners complete only one section of the Wyoming Death Certificate; Coroners’ Offices in Wyoming do not actually produce or archive death certificates. These records are available through Wyoming Vital Records.