The Butte County Coroner’s Office falls under the direction of the Butte County Sheriff-Coroner and is managed by the Chief Deputy Coroner. The Coroner’s Office is responsible for investigating the cause, manner, and circumstances of certain types of deaths, see below. We are also responsible for locating and notifying next-of-kin, and securing and protecting the property of decedents.
Butte County Coroner
33 County Center Drive Oroville, CA 95965
Government Code, State of California, Section 27491, and
Health and Safety Code Section 102850 mandate that the Sheriff-Coroner inquire into the following deaths:
- Unattended deaths
- The deceased has not been attended by a physician in the 20 days prior to death
- Physician unable to state the cause of death
- Known or suspected homicide
- Involving any criminal action or suspicion of a criminal act, in whole or in part
- Known or suspected suicide
- Related to or following known or suspected self-induced or criminal abortion
- Associated with a known or alleged rape or crime against nature
- Following an accident, or injury (primary or contributory, occurring immediately or at some remote time)
- Drowning, fire, hanging, gunshot, stabbing, cutting, starvation, exposure, alcoholism, drug addiction, strangulation or aspiration
- Accidental poisoning (food, chemical, drug, therapeutic agents)
- Occupational diseases or occupational hazards
- Known or suspected contagious disease constituting a public health hazard
- Deaths in the custody of law enforcement, in prison or while under sentence
- Deaths in state hospitals serving the mentally or developmentally disabled
- Suspected Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS)
Additionally, the Butte County Coroner typically investigates cases such as:
- Emergency and operating room deaths
- Deaths with known or suspected contribution by a therapeutic procedure
- Deaths occurring under 24 hours in a hospital
- Solitary deaths (unattended by physician or other persons in the period proceeding death)
- Deaths of unidentified persons
- Deaths of children (age 17 and under)
Forensic Autopsies are conducted to determine cause and manner of death. Not all death investigations result in an autopsy. Government Code section 27491.4 authorizes the Coroner to conduct autopsies when needed. Religious objection: Any person, 18 years of age or older, prior to their death, may certify in writing their religious objection to an autopsy. The certificate must be signed in the presence of two witnesses and dated, and include the objector’s residence address. This certificate must be presented to the Coroner’s office upon the objector’s death.
Copies of Coroner’s Reports and Autopsy Reports
Copies are generally available 4- 6 weeks after death. Copies are provided, upon request, to family members at no charge. Copies provided for legal requests have a $17.00 fee, payable in advance. You may request a copy by sending your request in the mail to the: Butte County Coroner’s Office at 33 County Center Drive, Oroville, CA 95965 or by calling 530-538-7404. Your written request should include: (1) your name and relationship to the decedent; (2) your mailing address and phone number; (3) the decedent’s name and date of birth and/or death (if known); and (4) a check or money order made payable to the Butte County Sheriff’s Office for $17.00 (if applicable). For any questions regarding this process, please call the Butte County Coroner’s Office at 530-538-7404.
Butte County does not have a “Central Morgue”. All deaths that require Coroner’s investigation are taken to one of the local funeral homes that the Coroner’s Office has a contract with. When our investigation is complete, the decedent will be released to the family’s funeral home of choice.
Any medications prescribed to a decedent should be properly disposed of. If a deputy obtained a decedent’s medications at the time of the death, those medications will be destroyed by our staff. If you are in possession of medication, please contact the Butte County Sheriff’s Office at 530-538-7321 and select option #8 to have a deputy dispatched to your location to pick up the medication for destruction.
To find out the cause of death you may request a death certificate (See: Get a death certificate). The cause of death is generally available within 10 days of the date of death or 4-6 weeks if an autopsy was performed.
The Butte County Coroner’s Office does not issue death certificates. You may obtain a death certificate from the funeral home that assisted you or by contacting the Butte County Office of Vital Statistics at 530-538-7700. Please note that if an autopsy was performed, the death certificate will have “PENDING” as the cause of death until the results of the toxicology and autopsy have been received and reviewed; this general takes between 4 and 6 weeks. Once the final cause of death has been determined an amended death certificate will be generated. You may obtain the amended death certificate in the same manner as the original death certificate as described above.
The decedent’s next of kin, or their authorized agent, can retrieve personal property. The next of kin should call the Butte County Coroner’s Office at 530-538-7404, Monday through Friday from 8:00a.m. to 4:30p.m. to inquire if the property is available for pick up.
Only the decedent’s next of kin, or their authorized agent, can be granted access to a sealed residence. The next of kin should call the Butte County Coroner’s Office at 530-538-7404, Monday through Friday from 8:00a.m. to 4:30p.m. to inquire about obtaining a property release. It is unlawful for anyone to break a coroner’s seal without first obtaining a property release.