The Clark County Coroner's Office is responsible for conducting medicolegal death investigations. The initial report is the responsibility of the Coroner Investigator. Coroner Investigators work closely with the forensic pathologists to determine jurisdiction on deaths that are reported to the coroner's office. They are responsible for gathering as much medical history and information as possible for each case, as well as being the initial point of contact for family members. Coroner Investigators also play a key role in the identification of decedents, working with law enforcement agencies and medical professionals to locate fingerprints and x-rays for comparison with unidentified individuals.
The forensic team evaluates and examines 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. Forensic staff members take x-rays and fingerprints for every case, if viable. For the majority of cases, this entire process will be completed in one day.
Case files and report management falls under the duties of administrative staff. All case files are retained pursuant to a record retention requirement. When that time period has been met, records are electronically scanned and hard copies are destroyed. Electronic copies are maintained indefinitely. The administrative property custodian inventories any personal effects impounded from a scene or a decedent and releases them to the legal next-of-kin once they are cleared for release. Once the cause and manner of death of an individual have been determined, an administrative staff member completes the death certificate and sends it to the Office of Vital Statistics for registration and dissemination.