Coroner's Duties and Responsibilities
The Montgomery County Coroner's Office (MCCO) is committed to deliver high quality professional forensic and laboratory services to the citizens of
Montgomery County. Our staff supports our obligation to investigate sudden, unnatural and violent deaths with compassion for family and friends during their time of grief. MCCO operates pursuant to Commonwealth of Pennsylvania law. It investigates and certifies all deaths that are not caused by natural disease or cannot be properly certified by a PA licensed physician on the basis of prior medical attendance.
Establishing the Cause & Manner of Death
MCCO applies current scientific methods for evidence analysis and investigations to effectively assist law enforcement, judicial court systems and health and environmental agencies. A variety of modern medicolegal investigative techniques, including an autopsy, when indicated, to establish the medical cause of death and the medicolegal manner of death (natural, accident, homicide, suicide or undetermined).
Investigating Various Deaths
The decedent is brought to our office, by our staff, when an examination is indicated. The decision of whether an autopsy will be performed is made by a board-certified forensic pathologist. Examples of deaths that are brought to our office are:
1. Overt criminal violence or suggestion of violence in any form;
2. Homicides, by any means;
3. Accidents by any means ;
4. Suicides by any means;
5. Sudden deaths of apparently healthy persons who are not under the care of a PA licensed physician;
6. Unidentified or unidentifiable persons or when the next of kin is unknown or may not be available;
7. Death in a public facility, i.e. correctional or psychiatric facility; or
8. Any suspicious, unusual or questionable death.