|Office of the Coroner
Susquehanna County, Pennsylvania
TO THE OFFICE OF CORONER
(a) The Coroner having a view of the body shall investigate the facts and circumstances concerning deaths which appear to have happened within the county,
regardless where the cause thereof may have occurred, for the purpose of determining whether or not an autopsy should be conducted or an inquest thereof
should be had, in the following cases:
1. sudden deaths not caused by readily recognizable disease, or wherein the cause of death cannot be properly certified by a physician on the basis of prior
recent medical attendance;
2. deaths occurring under suspicious circumstances, including those where alcohol, drugs or other toxic substances may have had a direct bearing on the
3. Deaths occurring as a result of violence or trauma, whether apparently homicidal, suicidal or accidental (including, but not limited to, those due to
mechanical, thermal, chemical, electrical or radiation al injury, drowning, cave-ins and subsidence's);
4. Any death in which trauma, chemical injury, drug overdose or reaction to drugs or medication or medical treatment was a primary or secondary, direct or
indirect, contributory, aggravating or precipitating cause of death;
5. Operative and peri-operative Deaths in which the death is not readily explainable on the basis of prior disease;
6. Any death wherein the body is unidentified or unclaimed;
7. Deaths known or suspected as due to contagious disease and constituting a public hazard;
8. Deaths occurring in prison or a penal institution or while in the custody of the police;
9. Deaths of persons whose bodies are to be cremated, buried at sea or otherwise disposed of so as to be thereafter unavailable for examination;
10. Sudden infant death syndrome; and
(b) The purpose of the investigation shall be to determine the cause of Any such death and to determine whether or not there is sufficient reason for the
coroner to believe that Any such death may have resulted from criminal acts or criminal neglect of persons other than the deceased.
(c) As part of this investigation, the coroner shall determine the identity of the deceased and notify the next of kin of the deceased. ACT OF AUG. 9, 1955
(PL 323) SECTION 1237 – 3rd TO 8th CLASS COUNTIES.
Section 1240. Bodies not to be Moved
In all cases where the coroner has jurisdiction to investigate the facts and circumstances of death, the body and its surroundings shall be left untouched until
the coroner has had a view thereof or until he shall otherwise direct or authorize, except as may be otherwise provided by law, or as circumstances may
require. Bodies upon a public thoroughfare or in other places may be removed so much as is necessary for precaution against traffic accidents or other
serious consequences, which might reasonably be anticipated if they were left intact. As amended 1990, Nov. 29, P.L. 602, No. 152, Sec. 3
Section 15. Sudden Deaths Defined
The Coroner shall regard Any death as Sudden if it occurs without prior medical attendance by a person who may lawfully execute a certificate of death in
this Commonwealth, or if, within twenty-four hours of death, the decedent was discharged from such medical attendance had occurred, or if Any such
medical attendance began within twenty-four hours of death and the medical attendant refuses or is unable to certify the cause of death. Medical attendance
includes hospitalization. The provisions of this section shall not be construed to affect the coroner's discretion as to whether or not Any death was
suspicious, nor shall they be construed to authorize a coroner to investigate a Sudden death Any further than necessary to determine the cause and manner
ACT OF AUG. 9, 1955 (PL 323) SECTION 1239 – 3rd TO 8th CLASS COUNTIES
Section 17. Release of Coroner's Jurisdiction
Whenever the Coroner assumes jurisdiction of a body pursuant to the provisions of this subsection or of Any other law, the body shall not be released or
removed from his jurisdiction except upon his direction and consent, in accordance with law. ACT OF AUG. 9, 1955 (PL 323) SECTION 1241 – 3rd TO 8th
Laws Pertaining To The Coroner, (3rd to 8th class counties) please visit: www.pacoroners.org
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Welcome to the Susquehanna County Coroner's Office Website
This site was published in an effort to answer questions as to the Duties, Responsibilities, Frequently Asked Questions and Information
about the Coroner's Office and the Coroner. We hope by providing you this information will help you now or during a time of loss of a loved
one. However, should you need additional assistance, please call our office at 570-278-4600 ext 475 during regular business hours.
We at the Susquehanna County Coroner's Office extend our deepest sympathy to you during this difficult time. We hope the information
contained in this website will assist you by providing answers to commonly asked questions.
accidental, suicide, violent, sudden, unexplained or medically unattended deaths. The Coroner, also known as a medicolegal
death investigator is a professional who responds to the most horrific death scenes imaginable. Those who enter this forensic
profession must possess strength in body, character and ethics in order to perform this very important service to the public.
They enter crime and accident scenes dealing with death many times on a daily basis. They encounter all aspects of diseases,
body fluids, drugs and weapons that may have potential harmful effects on them, simply from their presence. They enter homes
ranging from dirty, pack-rat conditions, to executive mansions. They deal with emotionally charged conditions involving the
death of children, parents, wives and husbands, and always maintain a professional attitude regardless of the circumstances.
They collect and handle property involving expensive jewelry, cash, and other valuables that they must protect and return to the
decedent's next of kin. They must be capable of examining decomposed and mangled bodies as well as reading and
interpreting important medical records to help determine the causes and manner of death. They must coordinate their
investigative efforts with law enforcement agencies, medical staff, fire department and emergency services personnel, and at
the same time, protect the interest of the deceased person, whom they represent in death.
Coroner’s present a specialized ingredient to the crime scene investigation. Through training and experience, combined with
fortitude in character and mental well-being, the Coroner contributes to the investigative process in a unique manner. They
must possess a highly motivated desire to help families of decedents at a time when the need for the most gentle yet
professional demeanor, is demanded of them. They must interact with highly trained medical doctors, a multitude of law
enforcement personnel, sometimes angry and confused family members and the bureaucracy of public service to achieve one
of the most difficult and important aspects of the criminal justice system.
History and the appellate courts in Pennsylvania have determined the Coroner is a member of the Law Enforcement Team,
possessing Criminal Investigation powers.
|Mailing Address: PO Box 218 Physical Address: Rear Entrance of Courthouse on Lake Avenue
Montrose, PA 18801 Montrose, PA
Voice: 570-278-4600 Coroner ext. 475 Administrative Assistant ext. 476 | Fax: 570-278-7165 |
email the coroner
|Anthony J. Conarton, Coroner
Serving as Coroner since January 2, 1996
|Remember, this is a working office
(24 / 7) and investigative
duties and responsibilities often
leave the office vacant.
|Do not regret
It's a privilege