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The mission of the Lassen County Sheriff / Coroner’s Office is to investigate unexpected and unexplained deaths in order to identify and report on the cause, manner, and circumstance of death. We apply scientific investigative techniques and medical procedures, using integrity and compassion to serve families and public agencies impacted by sudden unexpected death.
The Sheriff / Coroner’s Office responds to most reported deaths in Lassen County to determine whether or not the death requires a Coroner’s Inquiry. The Sheriff Coroner responds to an average of 154 death investigations every year. Specified persons are required to notify the coroner of any death that occurred under circumstances defined in California Health and Safety Code Section 102850. After responding to a death investigation, the deputy coroner must determine whether or not the case falls under the jurisdiction of the Coroner. The Coroner has a duty to inquire into all violent, sudden, or unusual deaths as defined in California Government Code Section 27491. On average 85 death investigations per year become Coroner's Cases.
Coroner’s Investigations are sensitive in nature and also very time intensive. Making a determination of the cause of death often requires an autopsy. Lassen County cannot support a full time pathologist, so the Sheriff utilizes the services of the Washoe County Medical Examiner's Office in Reno to perform autopsies necessary to aid in the determination of cause of death.