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Chaffee County Coroner
P.O,. Box 613
Salida, Colorado 81201


On call 24 hours a day.

Chaffee County Coroner Jeff Graf

The Coroner's Office is responsible for determining manner and cause of death and maintaining records in all unattended deaths occurring in Chaffee County.

The Office of the County Coroner is established by the Constitution of the State of Colorado.  The Coroner is elected to serve by the citizens of Chaffee County.  The Coroner's Office is a separate and independent division of the Chaffee County Government and is funded though the Chaffee County General Fund.

The Coroner and staff recognize the tragedy surrounding and untimely death and perform investigations, in part, to assist the grieving family.  A complete forensic investigation provides for the expeditious settling of insurance claims and estates, as well the implementation of civil and criminal actions.  Questions which seem irrelevant in the initial hours after death can become significant in the following months.  The Coroner works in cooperation with the law enforcement community but conducts a separate and unbiased investigation.

The public health dimension of the Coroner's function is designed to isolate and identify causes of sudden unexpected death.  When an infectious agent or poison is implicated in a death, the family and persons recently in a physical contact with the deceased are notified in order that they might receive any needed medical treatment.

Types of Death Reported to the Coroner

    • No physician is in attendance
    • The attending physician is unable or unwilling to certify the cause of death
    • The attending physician has not been in actual attendance within 30 days prior to death
    • All cases in which trauma may be associated with the death, such as traffic accidents, gunshots, falls, etc. This includes inpatients who have sustained fractures any time in the past.
    • Deaths by poisoning suspected poisoning chemical or bacterial, industrial hazardous material or radiation.
    • All industrial accidents
    • Known or suspected suicides
    • Deaths due to contagious disease
    • Deaths due to self induced or unexplained abortion
    • Operating room deaths and deaths that occur during a medical procedure
    • All unexplained deaths (deaths that occur in a healthy individual)
    • Deaths that occur within 24 hours of admission to a hospital or nursing care facility
    • Deaths in the custody of law enforcement
    • Deaths of persons in the care of a public institution

    The investigation of a death by the Coroner's Office is an extremely important function as it is done by an independent agency who does not work for the law enforcement agency, the physician, the nursing home, the hospital, the prosecution or the defense, but works on behalf of the deceased to obtain the truth about their death.

    Jeffery Graf

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