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Why is a body brought to the Coroner’s Office?

The remains of the deceased person are brought to the Medical Examiner’s Office because Ohio Law requires that the Medical Examiner investigate deaths of persons dying from criminal violence, by accident, by suicide, suddenly, when unattended by physician for a reasonable period of time, in detention, or in any suspicious or unusual manner. Another reason that a body may be brought to the Medical Examiner’s Office is that the identity of the deceased or next-of-kin is unknown.  

If a decedent is brought to the Office of the Medical Examiner from a hospital or medical facility, the following form must accompany the body.  

 Download Form to Accompany Body

How will the body be released?

Routinely, the Medical Examiner releases the body to a licensed funeral director. The next-of-kin of the deceased person should notify a funeral director who, in turn will arrange transportation for the deceased to the funeral home and obtain the necessary documents for burial or cremation.  

 Download Hierarchy of Next of Kin

When is the body released?

The Pathologist assigned the case signs out the decedent in order for the body to be released to the funeral home. Then, the Investigators release the decedent to the funeral home.  

 Download Decedent Release Form

How can a funeral director be selected?

Most often, the next-of-kin discusses the selection of a funeral director with other family members, clergy, or friends. The Office of the Medical Examiner is prohibited from recommending a funeral director. A listing of funeral directors is available in the telephone book as well as other resources.

Information for the family and Friends

In order to assist you, it is our hope that the information contained in this pamphlet will provide answers to some of the questions and concerns that you may have.

 Download Information for Family & Friends