Frequently Asked Questions

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Frequently Asked Questions

A message from Craig Newton , Newberry County Coroner

We at the Newberry County Coroner's Office, extend our deepest sympathy to you during this difficult time. We hope that the information contained on this website will assist you by providing answers to commonly asked questions.


Where will my relative/friend be taken?

He/She will be taken to the Coroner's facility for an autopsy, or to be held until the attending physician can be contacted. You can contact our office at 803-405-7790 or by 24 Hour Emergency Number 803-321-2222.


Is it necessary for me to come to the Coroner’s Office to identify the body?

No, visual identification is not required. Should it become necessary, our office will require x-ray or dental records. Our staff may contact you to obtain information regarding any doctor or dentist who may have the necessary material.


Is viewing allowed?

No. The Coroner's facility is not designed to accommodate viewing. Arrangements can be made at the funeral home for viewing.


How long will it take before my relative/friend is released from your office?

Generally it should not take more than a day or two. Your Funeral Director will coordinate the release on your behalf.


Why is the coroner involved?

When any person dies as a result of criminal or other violent means, by casualty, by suicide, or in suspicious or unusual manner, or when any person, including a child under two years of age, dies suddenly when in apparent good health, the physician called in attendance, or any member of an ambulance service, emergency squad, or law enforcement agency who obtains knowledge thereof arising from his 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 which is required .


Will an autopsy be performed?

The Coroner will decide if an autopsy is necessary to establish the cause and circumstances of death. We may not perform an autopsy if the cause of death can be determined to be from "natural causes".


What about tissue/organ donation?

The Coroner reserves the right to approve or disapprove the removal of any organ in Coroner cases, which may create conflict with the legal responsibility of the Coroner. Such permission will be decided on an individual case basis.


My relative/friend was in the military. Who can I contact for information?

Persons who have served in the Armed Forces, were honorably discharged, and meet other service requirements are entitled to a Veteran's burial. For information on Fraternal Society, Military, Veteran's, or Social Security benefits contact your funeral director.


What should I do now?

As soon as possible, select a funeral home and inform the funeral director that the death is being handled by the NewberryCounty Coroner's Office. Ask them to please notify us. Our office does not select funeral homes nor do we make arrangements. In the event someone is making the arrangements for the family, the Coroner must be provided with written authorization to release the deceased, signed by the legal next of kin. Should he/she reside at a distant location, they may contact us for a faxed copy of our release form and he/she may send a fax directly to our office. Should the next of kin be local, this release can be signed at the funeral home. The funeral home will then bring or fax the form to us for our release. In the event someone is making the arrangements for the next of kin, the Coroner's office must be provided with a written authorization, signed by the next of kin, to release any and all information to that person.


How and when can personal possessions be claimed?

Any personal possessions in the custody of the coroner may be claimed by the legal next of kin. Governmental documents (driver's license, passports, military identification cards) will not be released. These documents will be returned to the issuing agency for disposition. To avoid any inconvenience to you, call the Coroner's Office at 803-405-7790 before coming into the office. The Coroner's Office staff will advise you if any documents will be needed and of any other requirements. The Coroner's Office is open from 8:30am to 4:00pm, Monday through Friday. The office is closed on weekends and holidays. In emergency, our staff is available 24 hours a day by office by phone at 803-321-2222. Sometimes personal possessions are taken into custody by other law enforcement agencies at their request. You will need to deal with those agencies to recover personal possessions in their custody.Clothing is not usually considered property. Unless there is a need to hold clothing as evidence, it is released to the funeral home recovering the deceased. Clothing that presents a health hazard may be disposed of for the safety of all persons involved .In certain deaths where firearms are involved, the firearms must be delivered to the proper authority for disposition or destruction.


I need to enter my relative/friend’s residence, but it is sealed. What do I do?

In order to enter you need to call the law enforcement agency. If you do not know what agency is involved, contact our office and we will assist you.


When will I be notified of the results of the autopsy?

The Coroner's Office will contact the legal next of kin when we receive the results. You need to make sure we are able to get in touch with you. Provide your contact information to our staff at 803-405-7790 or by the Our 24 hour line at 803-321-2222.


How long does it take to get the final report?

When toxicology testing is involved, the final report may take as long as sixteen weeks. In these cases, a pending death certificate is issued. We will notify the legal next of kin about the result.


Will the autopsy reports be available?

Yes. You may obtain a copy by calling the Coroner's Office at (803) 405-7790, Monday through Friday, from 8:30am through 4:00pm. At that time, you will be informed of the cost of this service and how this document or any Coroner's record can be obtained.


Is there a charge for the autopsy?

No. The County takes care of all charges unless one
is not needed and family members request one.


Where can I obtain a copy of the death certificate?

Death Certificates are filed with the South Carolina DHEC - Office of Vital Records. Should you require certified copies, they can be ordered through your funeral home or South Carolina DHEC, 803-898-3432.


There are no funds for burial. What can I do?

If the deceased or the legal next of kin do not have sufficient funds for burial, the alternative may be County disposition. In these circumstances, proof of indigency is required. The legal next of kin should contact the Coroner's Office at 803-405-7790 or by 24 hour emergency phone at 803-321-2222 and additional information will be made available. If County disposition is authorized, there may be substantial delays in receiving death certificates and, as a consequence, certain benefits. Should funds or assets later be discovered, the County reserves the right to recover on those funds or assets.




  

We hope the advice and counseling provided by your Funeral Director and the information provided on this website will help you during this time of loss. However, should you need additional assistance, please telephone our office at 803-405-7790
Craig Newton , Coroner