A Brief History:

Created in 1792, the coroner’s position was first established as an appointment by the territorial governor to hold preliminary investigations over bodies of individuals who died by violence or accident. In conjunction with the investigative function of the coroner’s position, the coroner also held concurrent jurisdiction with the sheriff when attending court, execution of process and the arrest of criminals. The county coroners’ office was turned into an elected post with a term of 2 years in the 1802 Ohio Constitution. The concurrent jurisdiction held by the coroner was repealed in 1805. In 1936 the term was expended to 4 years and in 1945 it was required that the coroner be a licensed, practicing physician.   

Coroner Function:

On the whole, the primary function of the coroner’s office has not changed since its creation in 1792. As in 1792 the coroner is require to investigate and take charge of individuals’ bodies whose death has been the apparent result of crime, violent means, suicide or suspicious or unusual circumstances. An autopsy may be performed and an inquest held with a witnesses examined under oath to determine cause of death. Once the cause of death has been determined, the coroner’s verdict becomes the legally accepted cause of death. In conjunction with the coroner’s duties, the Licking County Coroner is responsible for establishing and operating the county morgue, appointing assistants, pathologists and technicians. Additionally, the coroner is required to maintain a complete record of all cases that come under their jurisdiction.     

Licking County Records & Archives Center Holdings:

Today the permanent Coroner’s investigative files are held by the Licking County Records & Archives Department. These records are restricted and not available for public use as per the Ohio Revised Code 149.43. All requests for these records must be submitted through the Coroner’s Office. If you have any questions please contact the Licking County Coroner’s Office (Phone: 740-349-3633).

Record Series


Deceased Investigation Files