By The Ohio Revised Code*, all unusual or suspicious deaths, all sudden deaths while in apparent good health, all deaths by violence, suicide or casualty and all deaths of mentally retarded persons or developmentally disabled persons must be reported to the Coroner, usually through a Law Enforcement Agency.
In addition, most home deaths are reported to a Law Enforcement Agency. An Officer responds, collects information, evaluates the scene and communicates with the Coroner or representative who makes a decision as to whether this death comes under the jurisdiction of the Coroner. If it does, the appropriate investigation proceeds. If not, the deceased may be released to the funeral home of the family's choosing.
When any person dies as a result of criminal or other violent means, by casualty, by suicide, or in any suspicious or unusual manner, when any person, including a child under two years of age, dies suddenly when in apparent good health or when any mentally retarded person or developmentally disabled person dies regardless of the circumstances, the physician called in attendance, or any member of an ambulance service, emergency squad, or law enforcement agency who obtains knowledge thereof arising from the person's duties, shall immediately notify the office of the coroner of the known facts concerning the time, place, manner, and circumstances of the death, and any other information that is required pursuant to sections 313.01 to 313.22 of the Revised Code. In such cases, if a request is made for cremation, the funeral director called in attendance shall immediately notify the coroner.
(A) No person, without an order from the coroner, any deputy coroner, or an investigator or any other person designated by the coroner as having authority to issue an order under this section, shall purposely remove or disturb the body of any person who has died in the manner described in section 313.12 of the Revised Code, or purposely and without such an order disturb the clothing or any article upon or near such a body or any of the possessions that the coroner has a duty to store under section 313.14 of the Revised Code.
(B) It is an affirmative defense to a charge under this section that the offender attempted in good faith to rescue or administer life-preserving assistance to the deceased person, even though it is established he was dead at the time of the attempted rescue or assistance.
(C) Whoever violates this section is guilty of unlawfully disturbing a body, a misdemeanor of the fourth degree.