Why is the Coroner involved?

Illinois law requires that the Coroner's Office investigates any deaths that are sudden, violent, or suspicious. Generally speaking, any death that occurs outside of a hospital setting, or within 24 hours of admission to the hospital, requires notification of the Coroner's Office. The principal responsibility of the Coroner is to assure that a death did not occur as the result of foul play. To help determine the cause and manner of death, the investigator may employ a variety of investigative techniques including interviews with family members and physicians, scene analysis, photography, and physical examination of the decedent. Oftentimes, these aspects of the investigation will provide the information needed to close the death investigation. It is possible that the family physician will be allowed to certify the death certificate. Sometimes, family members feel as if they are under suspicion or are being asked overly personal questions. The investigation is meant to bring forth enough information to explain why your loved one died. What may seem like very personal or trivial information to you may be a wealth of knowledge for us. Please remember that it is our job to speak for the decedent and assure that justice prevails among society.