The County Coroner operates at the interface between law and medicine.
State Statutes for County Coroners are contained in Title 7, Chapter 4 of the Wyoming State Statutes.
In Wyoming, coroners investigate deaths due to:
- Apparent child abuse causes
- Apparent drug or chemical overdose or toxicity
- Apparent suicide
- The deceased was unattended by a physician or other licensed health care provider
- Unknown cause(s)
- Violent or criminal action
In Wyoming, coroners also investigate:
- Certain deaths that occur in hospital settings but are conservatively considered ’unattended’ (for example, an emergency room death caused by an event outside of the hospital)
- Deaths of prisoners, trustees, inmates or patients of any county or state corrections facility or state hospital
- Unattended deaths, or deceased having not seen a physician within six months prior to death
Coroners also perform the following duties:
- Completing death certificates (see following note) and other records once an investigation is complete
- Determining need for autopsy and arranging for autopsies to be performed
- Documenting the death scene and performing interviews to determine medical and social circumstances
- Identifying next-of-kin and notifying family members in a respectful and sensitive manner
- Positively identifying the deceased with the aid of dental records, fingerprints and X-rays
- Pronouncing death and determining the time of death
- Providing conclusive information and records to family members, law enforcement, and health care professionals
- Skillfully removing the deceased from the scene, taking care not to disturb evidence
- 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.