Types Of Deaths Which Must Be Reported
To The Coroner's Office
• POLICE OFFICERS
• FUNERAL DIRECTORS
• AMBULANCE ATTENDANTS
• VITAL STATISTICS REGISTRARS
• HOSPICE ORGANIZATIONS
CASE OF DEATH BY VIOLENCE OR SUICIDE
Any person who discovers the body or acquires the first knowledge of
the death of any person who died as the result of criminal or other
violent means, or by casualty, or by suicide, or suddenly when in
apparent health, or in any suspicious or unusual manner, shall
immediately notify the office of the coroner of the known facts
concerning the time, place, manner and circumstances of such death,
and of any other information which is required by the coroner.
NOTIFICATION BY HOSPITAL
Any person D.O.A. (Dead on Arrival) at Hospitals, these cases are to
be reported immediately, and no person shall, without an order from
the Coroner, willfully touch, remove, disturb the body of any such
person, or disturb the clothing or any article upon or near such body.
NOTIFICATION BY PHYSICIAN IN CASE OF DEATH BY VIOLENCE OR SUICIDE
When any person dies as a result of criminal or other violent means,
or by casualty, or by suicide, or suddenly when in apparent health, or
in any suspicious or unusual manner, the physician called in
attendance shall immediately notify the office of the coroner of the
known facts concerning the time, place, manner and circumstances of
such death and any other information required by the Coroner. In such
cases, if a request is made for cremation, the funeral director called
in attendance shall immediately notify the coroner.
I. ACCIDENTAL DEATHS
(All forms including death arising from employment.)
Accident. (Death on the operating table prior to recovery from
2. Blows or other forms of mechanical violence.
3. Crushed beneath falling objects.
5. Cutting or Stabbing.
6. Drowning (actual or suspected).
7. Electric Shock.
11. Fractures of bones (not pathological) cases to be reported even
when the fracture is not primarily responsible for the death. All
hip fractures, if patient dies within one year and one month, the
Coroner must be notified.
13. Carbon Monoxide Poisoning. (Resulting from natural gas,
automobile exhaust or others.)
15. Heat exhaustion.
16. Insolation. (Sunstroke.)
17. Poisoning. (Food poisoning, occupational or other.)
19. Suffocation. (Foreign object in bronchi, by bed clothing or
20. Vehicular Accidents. (Automobile, street car, bus, railroad,
motorcycle, bicycle, or other.)
II. HOMICIDAL DEATHS
III. SUICIDAL DEATHS
Criminal or self induced
maternal or fetal deaths. When the manner of death falls within the
above classification, such death must be reported to the coroner even
though the survival period subsequent to onset is 12 months.
V. SUDDEN DEATHS
When in apparent health or in
any suspicious or unusual manner including:
2. Sudden death on the street, at home, in a public place, at place
3. Deaths under unknown circumstances, whenever there are no
witnesses or where little or no information can be elicited
concerning the deceased person. Deaths of this type include those
persons whose dead bodies are found in the open, in places of
temporary shelter, or in their homes under conditions which offer no
clues to the cause of death.
4. Deaths which follow injuries sustained at place of employment
whenever the circumstances surrounding such injury may ultimately be
subject of investigation. Deaths of this classification include:
Caisson Disease. (Bends) Industrial infections. (Anthrax, septicemia
following wounds including gas bacillus infections, tetanus, etc.)
Silicosis. Industrial poisonings (Acids, alkalies, analine, benzine,
carbon monoxide, carbon tetrachloride, cyanogen, lead, nitrous
fumes, and so forth.) Contusions, abrasions, fractures, burns
(flames, chemical, or electrical) received during employment which
in the opinion of the attending physician are sufficiently
important, either as the cause or contributing factor to the cause
of death, to warrant certifying them on the death certificate.
5. All still born infants where there is suspicion of illegal
6. Deaths of persons where the attending physician cannot be found,
or deaths of person who have not been attended by a physician within
one week prior to the date of death.
7. All deaths occurring within 24 hours of admission to a hospital
unless the patient has been under continuous care of a physician for
natural disease which is responsible for death.
8. All hip fractures if the patient dies within one year and one
month, the Coroner must be notified.
9. All deaths in State institutions and all deaths of wards of the
State in private care facilities or in programs funded by the
Department of Mental Health and Development Disabilities or the
Department of Children and Family Services shall be reported to the
Coroner of the County in which the facility is located. If the
Coroner has reason to believe that an investigation is needed to
determine whether the death was caused by maltreatment or negligent
care of the ward of the State, the Coroner may conduct a preliminary
investigation of the circumstances of such death as in cases of
death under circumstances set forth in paragraphs (a) through (e) of
Illinois Revised Statutes, Chapter 55, Section 5/3-3013.
10. Any deaths which occur within Vermilion County and not at a
hospital or nursing home facility, (at any residence, employer,
and/or public facility) will immediately be reported to the Coroner.
CORONER'S ACT ILLINOIS REVISED STATUES, CHAPTER 55
Laws pertaining to notification of the Coroner and authorization of
the removal of deceased which directly pertain to the previously
CORONER TO BE NOTIFIED-VIOLATION
5/3-3020 Every law enforcement official, funeral director, ambulance
attendant, hospital director or administrator or person having custody
of the body of a deceased person, where death is one subject to
investigation under Section 3 of this Act, and any physician in
attendance upon such a decedent at the time of his death shall notify
the coroner promptly. Any such person failing to so notify the coroner
promptly shall be guilty of a Class A. misdemeanor, unless such person
has reasonable cause to believe that the coroner had already been so
REMOVAL OF BODIES PERMIT-EXCEPTION - VIOLATION
5/3-3019 No dead body which may be subject to the terms of this Act,
or the personal property of such deceased person, shall be handled,
moved, disturbed, embalmed or removed from the place of death by any
person, except with the permission of the coroner, unless the same
shall be necessary to protect such body or property from damage or
destruction, or unless necessary to protect life, safety, or health.
Any person knowingly violating the provisions of this Section is
guilty of Class A. misdemeanor.
DEFINITION AND INFORMATION CONCERNING CORONER'S INQUEST IN
A Coroner's Inquest is neither a civil nor a criminal trial
proceeding. It is simply an inquiry into the manner and cause of an
An inquest is conducted by the Coroner or deputy coroner with six
jurors present. The jurors are citizens of Vermilion County, the
county in which the death took place.
The purpose of the inquest is to present pertinent information
concerning the victim's death in order for the jury to arrive at a
cause and manner of death. The cause of the death is often readily
apparent and obvious based on the facts, circumstances, medical
evidence and in some cases toxicology and autopsy results. The real
essence of the juror's responsibility is to establish the manner of
death (suicide, homicide, accident, natural or undetermined).
The Coroner will summon to the inquest those individuals who have
pertinent information concerning the incident. This often includes but
is not limited to the person who found the deceased, witnesses to the
incident, those involved, police officers and investigators, and in
some instances a direct relative. All individuals summoned will
present testimony (answer questions) to the jury. Any professional
reports (autopsy, toxicology, x-ray and laboratory reports) will be
presented at that time. These reports are not released to the public
until the inquest procedures occur.
All information and testimony at the inquest is recorded and/or
transcribed by a competent reporter. All such information will be
documented verbatim in the inquest transcript available approximately
three weeks after the inquest. This transcript may be reviewed in the
Coroner's office at no charge. A copy of the transcript may be
purchased at $3.00 per page pursuant to the Illinois state law
(Illinois Revised Statutes), Chapter 55, Section 4-7, Par. 5/4-7001.
The inquest is open to the public and may not be closed pursuant to
any requests to do so. Anyone may attend. We do post inquest dates and
times, and if someone would request notification, they are so honored
by telephone at least seven days preceding the inquest.
Attorneys are welcome to attend. The need for an attorney is purely an
individual decision. This office neither recommends or advises
concerning any attorney attendance, the exception being the County
State's Attorney, who is notified of all inquests in Vermilion County.
Attorneys are allowed to ask questions of witnesses as a courtesy
only, and such questions are directed to be a maximum of two or three
of each witness. Questioning again is a courtesy which may be revoked
at any time. The family or anyone else will not be permitted to
question the witnesses nor supply their own witnesses, again the
exception being the County State's Attorney who can question the
witness at any time.
Upon completion of the testimony the Coroner's jury will deliberate in
private. They may request additional testimony, evidence, or
conference as they deem necessary. When the jury has concluded their
deliberation they will issue a verdict as to the cause and manner of
death (accident, homicide, natural, suicide or undetermined).
The testimony presented at the inquest is sworn and under oath and
properly documented and/or recorded. Because of this the testimony may
subsequently be used in perjury proceedings if such testimony should
change in future civil or criminal trial proceedings.
Testimony cannot be changed at a later date. Verdict or inquest cannot
later be changed or the inquest reopened for any purpose (pursuant to
opinions of the Illinois Attorney General); cause and manner of death
once established will appear at the conclusion of the inquest on the
permanent death certificate; after the conclusion of the inquest a
copy of the certified death certificate may be obtained at the local
registrar of the Vital Records, Vermilion County Health Department,
200 South College, Suite A, Danville, IL Phone 431-2662.
All Coroner's public records are accessible after the inquest unless
so restricted by the State's Attorney or the court. All such
provisions and explanations presented here are subject to revision at