County Coroner

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1470 North Drive, Hanford CA 93230

The Office of the Coroner - Public Administrator is a lesser known but very important function of the Sheriff's Department.
The Coroner is required by law to investigate unexplained deaths and attempt to determine the cause and manner of those deaths.
The Coroner, through the assistance of a forensic pathologist, provides immeasurable assistance to Sheriff's Detectives and other law enforcement agencies within Kings County investigating deaths caused by criminal act.

The Coroner will investigate deaths which occur under the following circumstances:

  • Unattended deaths
  • Deceased not seen by physician in 20 days prior to death
  • Physician unable to state the cause of death
  • Known or suspected homicide
  • Known or suspected suicide
  • Criminal action or suspicion of a criminal act
  • Related to suspected self-induced or criminal abortion
  • Associated with known or alleged rape/crime against nature
  • Following an accident or injury, either old or recent
  • Drowning, Fire, Gunshot, Starvation. Acute Alcoholism or Drug Addiction, Hanging, Strangulation, Aspiration, or Exposure
  • Stabbing or Cutting
  • Accidental poisoning (by food, chemical, drug, therapeutic agents)
  • Occupational diseases or hazards
  • Contagious diseases constituting a public hazard
  • Operating Room deaths, patients under anesthesia from surgery, recovery room or elsewhere
  • In prison or while under sentence
  • All deaths of unidentified persons
  • Suspected sudden infant death syndrome (crib deaths)

About Autopsies

Is an autopsy always performed?

Not always. If the death is a "Natural Death" and the deceased has a physician who knows the medical cause of the death and will furnish the Coroner with an acceptable cause, the Coroner will not normally perform an autopsy.

The Coroner performs an autopsy only when there is a medical or legal need for doing so.

Why are autopsies performed?

There are a number of reasons autopsies are performed. However, the basic reason is to determine the medical cause of death.
Another reason is to gather evidence for presentation in a court of law.
If we perform an autopsy, corneal or pituitary gland tissue may be removed for transplantation purposes.
If you object to this procedure, contact us immediately.

Public Administrator

The Public Administrator is charged with the disposal and settling of the estates of those persons who have died without making a will and without locatable surviving family members.
The Public Administrator will make a serious attempt to locate surviving family members, but in all cases will proceed at the direction of the Probate Court.

Shawn Mcrae
Chief Deputy Coroner / Public Administrator
Office (559)852-4362