1. The police will attend the scene of the death and report the circumstances as they find them, a scene of crime examination and photos will usually be taken. The police will then arrange for the body to be taken to a public mortuary.
2. A post mortem examination is carried out and any samples sent away for analysis.
3. The coroner will open and adjourn an inquest to allow the criminal investigation to be completed. Sometimes if there is family involved a temporary certificate of death will be issued.
4. If the police arrest a suspect for the death, ie, murder, the suspect is entitled to request a further independant post-mortem examination.
5. If a person is charged with murder etc the criminal trial will then go ahead and then the inquest will close with a verdict of unlawfull killing.
6. If the circumstances are unknown or there is no suspect the coroner will hold an inquest and will deliver one of the following verdicts.
DEATH BY MISADVENTURE
OPEN VERDICT the most ambiguous verdict possible.
7. The body can then be released for burial or cremation and a full death certificate will be issued.
The job of a coroner varies greatly depending on the jurisdiction in which she works. Commonly the coroner is an extension of the sheriff's office and determines the circumstances surrounding deaths deemed suspicious.