The Office of Coroner was developed in England approximately 900 years ago.  Coroners were appointed by the Crown to represent the king's interest in deaths and in the disposition of property that became available under existing laws following a homicide or suicide.

The Coroner's Office is responsible for determining cause of death in cases of homicide, accident and suicide or in cases where there was no recent attending doctor or where circumstances are mysterious.

The Coroner's Office is also responsible to the living.  This duty is discharged by determining manner and cause of death and submitting this evidence to a Coroner's Jury in an attempt to detect foul play or find existing health and hazardous conditions. 

The Coroner uses all available investigative and scientific measures in discharging the duties of the office including medical and police reports, toxicology and other chemical analysis, radiology and autopsy.

The Coroner cooperates and assists the public health agencies, law enforcement agencies and others to improve the health and safety of the people in Jo Daviess County.