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Friday, October 24, 2014
Coroner-Medical Examiner: About Us

 
 
INVESTIGATIONS
 
 

The Clark County Coroner's Office is responsible for conducting medicolegal death investigations. The initial report is the responsibility of the coroner investigator.  Currently there are two coroner investigative forensic supervisors, 14 full-time coroner investigators and 13 part-time investigators that handle the Las Vegas Valley area. There  also is one part-time investigator that handles the south portion of the County, which encompasses the Laughlin and Searchlight areas, and one part-time investigator that handles the northern County region, which encompasses the Mesquite, Overton and Logandale areas, courtesy of Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department.

 

The investigator's primary duties include responding to scenes and performing death investigations that include taking charge of the decedent(s), interviewing witnesses and family members, establishing the legal next of kin, making death notifications, securing personal property, confirming positive identification and report writing.

 
FORENSICS

The Forensic Division is comprised of five medical examiners who are forensic pathologists, one forensic investigative supervisor, one senior forensic pathology technician,  four full-time forensic pathology techs, three part-time forensic techs, four full-time forensic assistants and two part-time forensic assistants.
 
Each day a forensic team of two forensic pathologists and three to four forensic pathology techs examine cases from the previous 24 hours.
 
Our forensic teams evaluate and examine an average of 10 to 15 cases per day.  All cases are examined, but not all are autopsied.  Decisions to autopsy are based on all pertinent information surrounding the case, Nevada Revised Statutes and County ordinances.  Forensic pathologists evaluate information gathered by our coroner investigators and determine what cases will be autopsied.

 
ADMINISTRATION

The administration staff plays a vital role with regard to the Coroner’s Office. Duties include, but are not limited to, answering questions received by telephone or in-person, and providing as much information as office policy allows.  Administration personnel also ensure case files are opened, proper reports have been approved, signed, processed and completed so that the file can be closed and information is available for release to appropriate parties. After all information concerning cause and manner of death has been determined, the administrative staff completes the death certificate and files it with the office of Vital Statistics. All case files are maintained by the administrative staff. Personal property received with the body is inventoried and released to legal next of kin by the administrative property custodian. All case files are retained pursuant to a record retention requirement.  When that time period has been met, said records are microfilmed and hard copies are destroyed. Microfilm copies are maintained indefinitely. The administrative staff prepares various reports for other agencies to help with statistical information, such as suicide, homicide, accidents, undetermined and natural deaths. The staff employs one full-time forensic medical transcriber and two part-time medical transcribers. These individuals transcribe all tapes dictated by the medical examiners, which include autopsies and medical examinations.