The coroner is responsible for the medical-legal death investigations in Bayfield County. Determining what deaths are to be investigated is the responsibility of the coroner as directed by state statutes. Collaboration with law enforcement and the district attorney in the interest of public safety is a crucial and necessary function of the coroner's office. Since the office of the coroner is an elected position, the elected coroner is directly responsible to the citizens of the country and their elected representatives.


  • Appoint, supervise, and train competent deputy coroners to act in behalf of the coroner in his/her absence
  • Communicate with the family and loved ones of the next of kin in a professional manner, including death notification and appropriate release of all information regarding the cause and manner of death
  • Conduct thorough and independent investigations of deaths which are reportable under state statute 979.01 and 979.10 and issue the necessary permits for disposition of the bodies
  • Develop written guidelines for reporting deaths within the county for the pronouncement of death outside of a hospital or nursing home
  • Make decisions with respect to the necessity of an autopsy, toxicology, and other testing
  • Obtain biological samples in a method consistent with medical and legal standards of practices
  • Perform administrative duties (policy, budget, and personnel functions)
  • Prepare / update a county plan of action for the mortuary section of the county emergency operation plan and act as mortuary officer in the event of a multiple fatality disaster
  • Properly document every case investigated and all property recovered and released to the next of kin
  • Properly complete the medical certification on a death certificate for every case reported under state statute 979.01 (the medical certification must comply with standards for timeliness and completeness as issued by the State Registrar per state statute 69.18)
  • Report deaths in a timely manner to the district attorney, law enforcement personnel and other federal, state, and local authorities as determined by the situation
  • Upon request of a court, give accurate and complete testimony as to the method of investigation used in a particular case and the findings of that investigative process