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What does a coroner do?

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Every county is required to have an elected coroner or an appointed medical examiner. The legal duties and responsibilities of C/MEs include determining the cause of any death that falls under their legal jurisdiction. Such deaths include suicides, homicides, accidental deaths, and deaths from natural causes. A large percentage of the deaths investigated are natural deaths that are unexpected or unexplained. Almost all C/MEs in Wisconsin are medical or criminal justice professionals.

If necessary, the C/ME will request a forensic specialist to perform additional services, such as an autopsy or toxicology testing.

The C/ME is often the primary contact for the grieving family looking for answers.

The coroner must be present at cremations, which cannot proceed without the coroner’s OK.

– Wisconsin Coroners and Medical Examiners Association

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