In San Benito County, each Deputy Sheriff is trained as a Deputy Coroner. The Investigations Division carries out the duties and responsibilities of the coroner. The coroner has the authority to determine the extent of inquiry into reportable deaths.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why is a body brought to the coroner’s office?
The remains of deceased persons are brought to the Coroner’s Office because California State Law requires the coroner to investigate deaths of persons dying from criminal violence, by accident, by suicide, sudden unexpected deaths (without attending physician), any suspicious or unusual manner, or when the decedent is unidentified.

What is an autopsy?
An autopsy is a systematic examination by a Pathologist of the body of a deceased person for the purpose of determining the cause of death. A record is made of the findings including microscopic and toxicology laboratory tests.

When is an autopsy performed?
Not all cases that are transported to the coroner’s office are autopsied. Cases where no “foul play” is suspected and evidence of natural death is present, the coroner will decide whether an autopsy is required.

How will the body be released?
Routinely, the coroner releases the body to a licensed funeral director. The next-of-kin of the decedent should notify a funeral director who will arrange the transportation for the decedent to the funeral home and obtain the necessary documents for burial or cremation.

For additional questions, contact Detective Sergeant Tom Keylon at 831-636-4080 or via email