Effingham County Coroner


It is my hope that the Effingham County Coroner’s Office can help you through this trying time and resolve the questions you may have regarding the death of your loved one.

On behalf of the entire staff, we will to express our sympathies at your time of loss and encourage you to call upon us if we may help in any way.

Why is the Coroner involved and what does the Coroner's Office do?

Illinois law requires that the Coroner’s Office investigate any death of a sudden, violent, or suspicious nature. Generally speaking, any death that occurs outside of a hospital setting, or within 24 hours of admission to the hospital, requires notification of the Coroner’s Office.

The principal responsibility of the Coroner is to assure that a death did not occur as the result of foul play. To help determine the manner and cause of death, the investigator may employ a variety of investigative techniquis including interviews with family members and physicians, scene analysis and photography, and physical examination of the decedent. Oftentimes, these aspects of the investigation will provide the information needed to close the death investigation. It is possible that the family physician will be allowed to certify the death certificate.

Sometimes, family members feel as if they are under suspicion or are being asked overly personal questions. The investigation is meant to bring forth enough information to explain why your loved one died. What may seem like very personal or trivial information to you may be a wealth of knowledge for us. Please remember that it is our job to speak for the dead and assure that justice prevails amoung men and society.

Will there be an autopsy?

That depends on a number of factors. Age, medical history, and circumstances surrounding the death are the major considerations. The Coroner’s Office may defer an autopsy if enough facts concerning the events leading up to the death are known, verified, and supported by pre-existing medical conditions.

Deaths involving the possibility of criminal activity, children, and those in good health prior to death will most likely be autopsied. Likewise, deaths in which the scene investigation suggests an external event (electrocution, drowning, overdose, etc.) will probably undergo autopsy.