INVESTIGATIONS DIVISION

Coroner's Office

The Coroner's Office operates as a separate budget unit but is aligned under the Sheriff's Office Detective/Investigation Division. The Coroner's Office investigates all deaths falling under the guidelines of the California State Government Code. The majority of deaths are investigated by Patrol Deputies; however, complicated investigations are handled by Coroner Staff.

Coroner Reports are available to the public. Send your request to:
San Joaquin County Sheriff's
Attn: Coroner's Division
7000 Michael N. Canlis Blvd.
French Camp, CA 95231

Please enclose a check or money order for $25.00 and a self addressed, stamped envelope, with $2.50 postage.

To better respond to your request, include: Decedents full name, Date of death (estimate if you don't know the exact date) and your contact information, in case we need more information.

One free copy is provided to immediate next of kin upon request.


Mission Statement     FAQs     Indigent Cremation     Scene Clean Up
Suggestions for Making Funeral Arrangements     Funeral Home/Mortuary Listing for San Joaquin County
Important Reference Numbers     Annual Report of the Coroner

Office Hours 
    Monday - Friday: 8 AM to 5 PM Weekends and Holidays: Reduced Hours
For Specific Coroner Questions
    Phone: (209) 468-4300  Email: mreynolds@sjgov.org


MISSION STATEMENT 
The mission of the San Joaquin County Coroner’s Office is to serve and protect the interests of the community by determining the cause, circumstances and manner of sudden or unexplained deaths that occur within our jurisdiction. We identify the deceased and notify their next-of-kin, regardless of where in the world they may live, while insuring that the deceased and their property are treated with the utmost respect and dignity. We accomplish our mission through the use of pathologists, consultants, and other methods of inquiry. We serve as an independent finder of fact in a manner as prescribed by law.


FAQ’s
What does the Coroner’s Office do?
The San Joaquin County Coroner’s Office is the agency responsible for investigating about one-half of all the deaths in the county. The office performs medico-legal investigations for legal and public health purposes under authority of state laws. By far, the largest percentage of deaths in the county are natural deaths. Just because the Coroner investigates a death does not mean there is a belief that a crime has been committed. Part of the Coroner’s legal responsibility is to positively identify the deceased, to notify the next-of-kin or legal representative, and to protect the estate of the deceased until it can be turned over to the legal heirs.

Why are Coroner Investigators in a Sheriff’s Office uniform?
In San Joaquin County, as in most counties in the state, the sheriff is also the Coroner, therefore, responsible for investigating both criminal and coroner matters. 

Why has the body been taken away?
There are many reasons why a loved one will be taken to the Coroner’s Office: a private physician cannot sign the death certificate; the deceased did not have a physician or it has been too long since the last visit; the death was possibly due to accident, suicide, homicide or an unknown cause, or the person died alone. 

Where will my relative/friend be taken?
He/she will be taken to the Coroner’s facility located within the San Joaquin County Sheriff’s Office Complex in French Camp. 

What about personal property?
The Coroner’s Investigator may have to take personal property until it can be released to the legal next-of-kin or representative. Medication and other evidence may be taken that will be examined during the investigation. Probate laws are clear who has a right to a person’s estate. Absent a will or durable power of attorney, the line of succession is spouse, child, parent, and then sibling. Evidence other than medication will be returned at the conclusion of the investigation. Personal property may be picked up from the Coroner’s Office during normal business hours. 

Is viewing allowed?
No. The Coroner’s Office does not have the capability to allow for viewing of the body. Family should make arrangements with a funeral home or mortuary for viewing at their facility. 

Will an autopsy be performed?
It is the legal duty of the Coroner to determine the cause of death. Autopsies are not always necessary. The Coroner’s Pathologist will make a determination after a review of all supporting records whether an autopsy is needed to establish the cause of death. It is not something that can be determined by the Deputy Coroner at the scene.

How long will my relative/friend be at the Coroner’s Office? 
Typically, a body is ready for release to a funeral home within 48 hours. The funeral home or mortuary of your choice will coordinate the release on your behalf.

Is there a fee for Coroner Services?
By County Ordinance, the Coroner must charge a removal fee of $352 for all persons brought to the Coroner’s Facility. There are no additional costs charged by the Coroner. Fees can be paid to the funeral home or mortuary of your choice, which will pay the bill to the Coroner’s Office. Removal fees are waived for homicide victims and children 13 years and under.

How do I get a Death Certificate?
Some investigations can be completed in a matter of a few days. Others may take several weeks to complete, because of detailed laboratory testing which cannot be rushed if an accurate cause of death is to be determined. In those instances, a “pending" death certificate is issued so as not to interfere with funeral arrangements, then amended when a cause of death is known. The funeral home or mortuary of your choice can assist you with getting certified copies of death certificates.

How can I get a copy of the Coroner Report?
A complete Coroner Report includes the scene investigation prepared by the deputy, the autopsy report prepared by the pathologist, and the toxicology report prepared by the laboratory. Once the case is completed, it is ready to be released, typically about 90 days after death. Coroner Reports are Contact Us. One free copy is provided to the immediate next-of-kin. Additional reports are $25 each.


INDIGENT CREMATION
California State law requires blood relatives to provide for a proper disposition for the remains of the deceased (Health and Safety Code Sections 7100 & 7103). Failure to act in a timely manner is a criminal misdemeanor and could also result in the next of kin being required to pay civil penalties equal to three times the cost of disposition. 

Residents of San Joaquin County may be eligible for assistance with final arrangements of a loved one. For those who qualify, the County provides only a direct cremation. There are no provisions for services, viewing or burial. The ashes are made available to the family at an additional cost. 

If you feel you might qualify for this service, call the Coroner’s Office for more information. You will be asked to come to the office, answer some basic financial questions, provide documentation, and sign authorization papers. 


SCENE CLEAN UP 
After a death, there may be a need to either clean or dispose of  contaminated clothing, furniture, carpeting, or other personal belongings.  The Coroner’s Office does not provide these services. Due to the  specialized training required for such cleaning, California Health &  Safety Code Section 117778 requires businesses to register with the  California State Department of Health Services.

We suggest you call one of the following agency for clean up information:
    AAA Bio-Hazard Removal    (800) 818-6493
    Aftermath, Inc.   (866) 942-6583
    Amdecon
   (888) 872-0911
    Bio Safety Clean  (866) 587-1020
    CA State Dept. Health Svc.    (800) 366-9923
    Clean Site    (888) 498-7635
    Crime Scene Cleaners    (800) 357-6731
    Crime Scene Sterni-Clean    (800) 577-7206
    Private Providers     (916) 799-2422
    Servepro   (209) 477-3090   
    Stormie Janitorial Service     (209) 518-8084
    Steri-Clean   (888) 577-7206
 

SUGGESTIONS FOR MAKING FUNERAL ARRANGEMENTS
If there is no pre-need agreement with a funeral home, final arrangements must be made. You may make these arrangements with any funeral home or mortuary. You may find it helpful to decide on the type of service and disposition the family would prefer prior to calling as it makes it easier to gather and compare information.

As a service, we have provided a listing of the funeral homes and mortuaries in San Joaquin County, but you need not choose from this list. The Coroner’s Office does not endorse or recommend any of the businesses on this list, and suggests you compare before making a final decision. If you choose to use one of these companies, you do so at your own risk.  


FUNERAL HOME/MORTUARY LISTINGS FOR SAN JOAQUIN COUNTY
209-938-0673   Bay Area Cremation and Funeral Services, Stockton              
209-467-1177   Cano Funeral Home, Stockton           
209-942-2500   Casa Bonita Funeral Home,  Stockton     
209-465-0265   Chapel of the Palms, Stockton    
209-944-9898   Cherokee Memorial Funeral Home, Lodi 
209-565-5279   Colonial Rose Chapel and Cremation, Stockton
209-465-3500   Cunningham Funeral Services, Stockton
209-838-7321   Deegan Funeral Chapel, Escalon                                           
209-599-3413   Deegan’s Ripon Memorial Chapel, Ripon                           
209-466-8075   De Young Memorial Chapel, Stockton                                    
209-472-0335   De Young Shoreline Chapel, Stockton           
209-368-2444   Donahue Funeral Home, Lodi                          
209-464-4711   Frisbie Warren & Carroll Mortuary, Stockton   
209-836-1970   Fry Memorial Chapel, Tracy  
209-835-4072   Hotchkiss Mortuary, Inc., Tracy
209-948-9750   Jesse E. Cooley Funeral Services, Stockton   
209-369-3564   Lodi Funeral Home, Lodi
209-955-4090   Neptune Society of Northern California, Stockton   
209-982-1611   Park View Memorial Funeral Chapel, Manteca
209-239-1242   P.L. Fry & Son Funeral Home, Manteca   
209-368-5128   Rocha’s Mortuary, Lodi  
209-366-2425  Valley Funeral Home, Lodi
209-462-9272   Zapata Funeral Home, Stockton   


IMPORTANT REFERENCE NUMBERS

209-468-8686   Crisis Help Line
209-468-3400   Vital Statistics - Death Certificates less than 1 year
209-468-3939   Recorder - Death Certificates more than 1 year            
209-468-2304   Public Health - Fetal Infant Mortality Information               
209-468-3892   Public Health - SIDS Information                                       
209-468-2500   District Atty. - Victim Assistance 
209-468-2916   Service Office - Veteran’s Services 
209-468-8686   Mental Health - Crisis Help Line 
209-468-3740   Mental Health - Public Guardian Conservator 
209-468-5533   Sheriff-Coroner - Public Administrator Public
209-468-3640   Victim Assistance (Compensation)


ANNUAL REPORT OF THE CORONER
The Annual Report of the Office of Coroner, which contains statistical data, lists the activities of the Coroner's Office and offers a full disclosure of the cases and medical inquiries into the cause of death of any coroner case within San Joaquin County. This report requires Acrobat Reader.

2015   2014   2013   2012   2011   2010   2009   2008   2007   2006   2005