The situation is tense, uncomfortable and demanding. The coroner's role is to issue a swift and accurate determination of the cause and manner of death. In his or her efforts to do this, a coroner must sometimes restrict access to the scene. Often, survivors direct their anger at investigative personnel when, in reality, the tension of the situation is at the root of their stress. Cooperation with the coroner at the death scene allows him or her to document evidence that may lead to benefits through governmental agencies or insurance coverage.
As the investigation proceeds, your coroner has powers usually reserved for officers of the court: issuing subpoenas; authorizing autopsies; or calling for toxicological examinations of the body. Your coroner's investigation provides answers which help survivors cope with their loss.
Public Information that must be released upon request
Section 36-2-14-18 of the Indiana Code says that the coroner is required to make available for public inspection and copying the following information:
- Name, age, race and address of the deceased;
- Address where body was found;
- Name of agency to which death was reported;
- Name of person reporting death;
- Name of public official or government employee present at the death scene;
- Name of person certifying death;
- Information regarding an autopsy, if performed, limited to the date, the person who performed the autopsy, where it was performed, and a conclusion as to (a) the probable cause, (b) the probable manner, and (c) the probable mechanism.
- Location to which body was removed; and
- Those records required under IC 36-2-14-5 and IC 36-2-14-10.