Columbia County Coroner

Voice: 570-458-4499

35 West Main Street
Bloomsburg, PA 17815



2017 Coroner's Office Annual Report

Duties of the Coroner: The duty of the Coroner is to determine the cause and manner of death, and to determine whether or not there is sufficient reason for the Coroner to believe that any such death may have resulted from criminal acts or criminal neglect of persons other than the deceased.

Deaths that are Coroner Investigations by Law include:

  • Sudden deaths not caused by readily recognizable diseases or where the cause of death cannot be properly certified by a physician on the basis of prior medical attendance.
  • Deaths occurring under suspicious circumstances including those where alcohol,drugs, and other toxic substances may have a direct bearing on the outcome.
  • Deaths occurring as a result of violence or trauma, whether apparently homicidal, suicidal, or accidental.
  • Any death in which trauma, chemical injury, drug overdose, or reaction to drugs or medication or medical treatment was a primary or secondary, direct or indirect, contributory, aggravating or precipitating cause of death.
  • Operative and peri-operative deaths in which the death is not readily explainable on the basis of prior disease.
  • Deaths known or suspected to be due to a contagious disease.
  • Deaths occurring in prisons or while in law enforcement custody.
  • Deaths of persons whose bodies are to be cremated, buried at sea, or otherwise disposed of so as to be unavailable for examination.
  • Sudden Infant Death Syndrome
  • Stillbirths

Frequently Asked Questions:

How do I obtain a death certificate?

The Coroner’s portion of the death certificate is completed and provided to the funeral home chosen by a family. All final death certificates will be issued by the funeral home or by the PA Department of Vital Records.

I am a funeral director and need authorization for cremation?

Cremation authorizations can be done by calling 570-458-4499. An initial verbal authorization will be provided followed by a written authorization. The cremation fee will be provided to you.

What do I do if I think someone has passed away?

If you are at the scene of a death or discover someone passed away, do not touch anything. Dial 911 and the dispatcher will dispatch the appropriate resources from EMS, Police, and the Coroner’s Office.

Does the Coroner’s Office recommend funeral homes?

No the Coroner’s Office WILL NOT recommend any funeral home over another. If needed the Coroner’s office will provide a family with a listing of the funeral homes in or near a certain community or the county.

How do I obtain Coroner, Autopsy, Toxicology reports?

Reports can be requested by dialing 5704584499. Reports have various fees associated with their release and may require a signed release from the next of kin or subpoena.

What happens if a death is pending investigation?

If a death is pending investigation a pending investigation death certificate will be issued by the Coroner’s office to the funeral home so that the family may proceed with disposition of the body and other arrangements. Once the Coroner’s office investigation is completed or if cause and/or manner of death cannot be determine a final death certificate will be issued to the funeral home. The time it takes for a Coroner’s office investigation varies based on autopsy, toxicology, microscopic testing, along with the Law Enforcement investigation.