Coroners, State Medical Examiners, and State Forensic Anthropologists are the medicolegal death investigators in Kentucky. They are part of the state's criminal justice system. Coroners investigate and certify deaths within their jurisdiction, and possess the full power and authority of peace officers. The role of the Kentucky Coroner crosses traditional boundaries, and encompasses a broad spectrum of responsibilities ranging from law enforcement to public health. Thus, his/her knowledge base must also cover a wide range of law enforcement, criminal justice, forensic, and medical issues. He will need training to make reasonable determinations of death in cases of accidents, homicides, suicides, natural death, or those of undetermined manner. A Coroner/Deputy Coroner Investigator in Kentucky must complete a 40 hour Basic Training Course during his first year of service, and a minimum of 18 hours of Continuing Education each succeeding year.
This Forensic Library is intended to provide the Coroner Death Investigator with a central source of basic information to assist him with the performance of his duties. It will be accessible from his office, home, or in some cases directly from the scene. It is no substitute for classroom learning, but it will be available for periodic review and the retention of skills, or as a quick reference source when time is critical.
2014 Mandatory Training Requirements Section
DOCJT has put together new training material for 2014. It consists of articles related to Ebola for coroners as well as reading material on other infectious diseases including HIV. Select and Click on each topic to review the information in each section.Remember to submit Form 101 to DOCJT to receive credit.
1. CDC Releases Updated Guidance on Personal Protective Equipment for Use During Management of Ebola Virus Disease Patients
2. CDC Guidance for Safe Handling of Human Remains of Ebola Patients in U.S. Hospitals and Mortuaries
3. Isolation of Ebola from Environmental Surfaces
4. Handling Ebola Virus Human Remains
5. Occupational HIV Transmission and Prevention among Healthcare Workers
Free Training for Law Enforcement Officials! (NEW on 08/21/2014)
Prevent Child Abuse Kentucky (PCAK) has a few free sponsorship slots available for any KY Coroner or Deputy Coroner to attend the 18th Annual Kids are Worth It! Conference at the Crowne Plaza in Louisville on September 8-9, 2014. Free transportation and lodging are available through a grant from the Justice Assistance Grant Funding program. Training Topics Provided by National Presenters Include:
* Prevention and response to child sexual exploitation
* Documenting and photographing suspicious injuries in children
* Death scene investigations
* Best practices in child sexual abuse investigations
* Child Neglect
Click HERE-Kids are Worth It! for registration and further information.
2011 QuickStats:Drug Poisoning Death Rates by State (NEW on 08/21/2014)
In 2011, age-adjusted rates for deaths from drug poisoning varied by state, ranging from 7.1 to 36.3 per 100,000 population. In 17 states, the age-adjusted drug-poisoning death rate was significantly higher than the overall U.S. rate of 13.2 deaths per 100,000 population. The five states with the highest poisoning death rates were West Virginia (36.3), New Mexico (26.3), Kentucky (25.0), Nevada (22.8), and Utah (19.5).
2011 ME Annual Report
The 2011 Calendar Year Annual Report from the Office of the Kentucky State Medical Examiner. A 53 page document summarizing the activities of the Office of the Kentucky State Medical Examiner in 2011.
Principles for Communicating with Next of Kin during Medicolegal Investigations
A guideline for communication with Next of Kin developed by the Scientific Working Group's Next of Kin Service and Communication Committee(21 pages)
Dissemination of Public Information in Medicolegal Death Investigations
A guideline for Media Relations developed by the Scientific Working Group's Next of Kin Service and Communication Committee(3 pages)
2010 Kentucky Coroners Annual Report
The 2010 Calendar Year Annual Report compiled from preliminary data provided by the Kentucky Office of Vital Statistics. (1 page)
2010 ME Annual Report
The 2010 Calendar Year Annual Report from the Office of the Kentucky State Medical Examiner. A 44 page document summarizing the activities of the Office of the Kentucky State Medical Examiner in 2010.
SIDS- SLEEP-RELATED DEATHS
SIDS and other sleep-related deaths: Expansion of recommendations for a safe infant sleeping environment. A report from the publication PEDIATRICS: Official journal of the American Academy of Pediatrics.
NAME SUIDI Investigations
A functional approach to Sudden Unexplained Infant deaths, it outlines a minimum set of recommendations for the SUIDI death investigations.
NAME Mass Fatality Plan 2011
Updated for 2011, it defines jurisdiction of the incident, methods to evaluate the assets needed, NIMS, Scene Responsibilities, Incident Morgue, Family Assistance Center, Identification of the deceased, and many other subjects of interest. It also includes a section specifically on Training and Exercises.
A copy of House Bill 34 authorizing the use of blue lights by Kentucky coroners and deputy coroners in the performance of their duty, with permission of the local governing body.
KRS Organ Donation Statute
A copy of KRS 311.1953 Facilitation of anatomical gift from decedent when body is under jurisdiction of the medical examiner or coroner. (2 pages)
2009 Calendar Year Annual Report
Office of the Kentucky State Medical Examiner
A 44 page document summarizing the activities of the Office of the Kentucky State Medical Examiner in 2009
2008 Calendar Year Annual Report
Office of the Kentucky State Medical Examiner
A 43 page document summarizing the activities of the Office of the Kentucky State Medical Examiner in 2008
Pandemics, Epidemics, and Earthquakes
A 51 minute video featuring Mark Malcolm, the full-time coroner of Little Rock, Arkansas for nearly 20 years, discussing new mass fatality preparations and plans. A very informative presentation.
Botany, Bugs, and the Art of Forensic Science Part One
A 25 minute video presentation by Entomologist Dr. Lee Goff titled "Dr. Maggot and Mr. Worm".
Botany, Bugs, and the Art of Forensic Science Part Two
A 19 minute video presentation by Botanist Dr. Jane Bock titled "Forensic Botany, An Underutilized Resource in Forensic Investigations".
Botany, Bugs, and the Art of Forensic Science Part Three
A 26 minute video presentation by Anthropologist Dr. Douglas H. Ubelaker with the Smithsonian Institution titled "Recent Developments in Forensic Anthropology".
Dr. Emily Craig Osteology Handbook
(Reproduced by permission of Dr. Emily A. Craig, Ph.d, Kentucky's Forensic Anthropologist)(34 pages)
A primer for coroners detailing the names, features, and structures of the bones of the human body.
The Medicolegal Death Investigator
This article examines the role of the Medicolegal Death Investigators who respond to death scenes as representatives of the Coroner's Office, in order to document observations and collect physical and trace evidence necessary to determine the cause and manner of death. (15 pages)
Male Forensic Diagram
This male diagram is useful for documenting wounds found during your forensic postmortem examination. The form includes space for name, date/time, and descriptive physical information of the subject. (1 page)
Female Forensic Diagram
This female diagram is useful for documenting wounds found during your forensic postmortem examination. The form includes space for name, date/time, and descriptive physical information of the subject. (1 page)
Expert Witness: Effective Courtroom Testimony
Tips on how to look, sound, and act the part to be a convincing and effective Expert Witness. (9 pages)
HIPAA Exemption for Coroners
This document is in the form of a sample letter that can be sent to a medical provider when requesting confidential medical information as part of your medicolegal death investigation.(1 page)
Novel H1N1 Influenza (Swine Influenza)
Guidance for Coroners
(Kentucky Department for Public Health 10/26/2009)(3 pages)
This document is meant to assist coroners in conducting death investigations into potential H1N1 Influenza cases. It contains informations such as general information, signs and symptoms of Novel H1N1 Influenza, Groups at High-Risk for Severe Illness, Guidelines for Death Investigations, How to Collect a Nasopharyngeal Swab, Post-Mortem Care and Personal Protection.
Circumstances that Require the Coroner
From KRS 72.025 (2 pages)
Persons Responsible for Reporting Deaths to the Coroner
From KRS 72.020 (1 page)
Power and Authority of Kentucky Coroners
From KRS 72.415 ( 1 page)
Winek Chemical and Blood Level Data
A toxicology guide to evaluating drug and chemical blood-levels in the therapeutic, toxic, and lethal ranges (18 pages)
Establishing a Time Frame of Death
( 2 pages)
A Guide for Manner of Death Classification
From the National Association of Medical Examiners (29 pages)
A Guide for the Scene Investigator
From the U.S. Department of Justice (72 pages)
Medical Examiner/Coroner's Guide for Contaminated Deceased Body Management
From the National Association of Medical Examiners (32 pages)
Law Enforcement and Coroners- A Professional Team
A powerpoint presentation describing the role that each team member plays in an investigation and how those roles compliment the other.(20 pages)
A Basic Firearms Tutorial
Published by John Kraemer, a Fellow with the American Board of Medicolegal Death Investigators, and Director of Forensic Operations with the Iowa Office of the State Medical Examiner. It presents basic information regarding statistics for firearms-related deaths, common ballistic terminology, anatomy of firearms, basic ballistics, and photos of common firearms-related wounds. (18 pages)
An informal guide to assist coroners to determine when an autopsy might be necessary in death investigations (3 pages)
Wound Interpretation and Classification
From the Department of Forensic Medicine, University of Dundee (16 pages)
Recommended Procedures for Death Notification
From the Crime Victim Assistance Division, Iowa Department of Justice (16 pages)
NIJ Mass Fatality Guide for Identification
From the U.S. Department of Justice (83 pages)
2009 Kentucky Child Fatality Review Annual Report
From the Department of Public Health Child Fatality Review and Injury Prevention Program (72 pages)
4 videos totaling 121 minutes
31 articles totaling 817 pages