Overview of the Coroner’s Office
The Coroner’s Office investigates all sudden and/or unattended deaths throughout the county. Through an investigation, a determination is made as to the cause and the manner of death.
The Coroner’s Office is responsible for:
Identification of the deceased
Notification of a death to the family
Initiation of the Death Certificates
Providing Mortuary & Donation Information to help in facilitating final arrangements
Testifying in civil and criminal proceedings
The Las Animas County Coroner’s Office serves to provide the best in public service to families during what are often the most difficult of times.
Deaths Reportable to the Coroner’s Office
Deaths within 24 hours of admission to a hospital
Deaths in which a physician is not in attendance or has not been in actual attendance of the decedent within thirty days prior to death
Deaths that occur in a hospital emergency department
Traumatic, chemical or violent deaths (homicidal, suicidal, or accidental)
Deaths occurring in a hospital operating room
Deaths associated with diagnostic or therapeutic procedures
Deaths in which the attending physician is unable to certify the cause of death
Deaths due to unexplained cause or under suspicious circumstances
Deaths suspected to be due to infectious or contagious disease wherein the diagnosis and extent of disease are undetermined at the time of death
Any sudden death of a person in apparent good health
Deaths of individuals who were in the custody of law enforcement officials or who were incarcerated in a public institution
All newborn infants who die within 24 hours of birth regardless of the duration of life
Any fetal death due to or as a consequence of criminal abortion
Every death that occurs outside of a hospital or nursing home
Any death in which there is a question as to whether or not it is a Coroner’s case should be reported.
It should be emphasized that, although a particular death may be “reportable” to the Coroner’s Office, an autopsy may not be necessary, depending upon the circumstances. The Coroner’s Office investigates all sudden and/or unattended deaths throughout the county. Through an investigation, a determination is made as to the cause and the manner of death.
The Coroner's Office has the authority to review and/or investigate any death outlined in Colorado statute, The following circumstances require the Coroner's Office to determine the cause of death:
1. Disease that may pose a hazard or be contagious, or that may endanger public health.
2. Any unexplained cause, suspicious circumstances, or external violence, including accidents.
3. When no attending physician is available or the attending physician is unable to certify the cause of death.
4. Cases involving thermal, chemical, radiation injury, or criminal abortion.
5. Deaths that occur while in the custody of law enforcement officials or while incarcerated in a public institution.
6. Sudden deaths occurring when the individual appeared to be in good health.
7. Deaths occurring within 24 hours of admission to a hospital.
If your situation meets any of these criteria, please contact the Coroner's Office for further assistance and investigation.