Coroner's Office

P.O. Box 237

Danielsville, GA 30633

Phone: 706-567-0517

Fax: 706-795-2354

jharrison@madisonco.us

Responsibilities of the Coroner's Office

The Madison County Coroner’s Office operates 24 hours a day, seven days a week, investigating and determining the cause and manner of death. The coroner and her staff investigate cases of accidental deaths, homicide, suicide, and all natural deaths that are sudden, unexpected, or medically unattended.

The coroner is mandated by Georgia law to determine the cause and manner of death by an extensive investigation, which may result in a post-mortem examination at the Georgia Bureau of Investigation Medical Examiner’s Office. This investigation is conducted in conjunction with law enforcement, fire departments, rescue and/or other agencies, while the coroner’s investigation is independent.

The function of the Coroner’s Office is to determine cause and manner in any death when a person dies:

1. As a result of violence.

2. By suicide or casualty.

3. Suddenly when in apparent good health.

4. In any suspicious or unusual manner, with particular attention to those individuals 16 years of age and under.

5. After birth but before seven years of age if the death is unexpected or unexplained.

6. As a result of an execution carried out pursuant to the imposition of the death penalty under Article 2 of Chapter 10 of Title 17.

7. When an inmate of a state hospital or a state, county, or city penal institution.

8. After having been admitted to a hospital in an unconscious state and without regaining consciousness within 24 hours of admission.

9. As a result of an apparent drug overdose.

10. Who is a pregnant female or a female who was pregnant within 365 days prior to such female’s death; provided, however, that this paragraph shall not apply to a female whose death resulted from an incidental or accidental cause, including a motor vehicle accident, or from any other event or condition where it is apparent that the death was not causally related to the care of or physiology of pregnancy or its maintenance; or

11. When unattended by a physician.

Office Staff

Coroner: Julie "Coach" Harrison

Chief Deputy Coroner: Keith Lord

Deputy Coroner: Butch McDuffie

Deputy Coroner: Sherry McDuffie

Information Concerning Death Certificates

  • It may take 1 - 2 weeks for the death certificate to be completed on average once the funeral home has been chosen, and the coroner completing the certificate. This time allows for us to subpoena necessary medical records for review. If an autopsy was conducted, it may take 4 - 6 months for completion. A “pending” death certificate may be requested through the funeral home, and once a final cause and manner has been confirmed the amended death certificate will be available for purchase.

  • Death certificates may be purchased at Madison County Probate Court if they have not been obtained through the funeral home.

  • A “pending” certificate means the cause and manner of death are still under investigation and awaiting autopsy results which may take weeks to months before a final death certificate is amended and completed.

Information Concerning Autopsies

  • The Georgia Bureau of Investigation Medical Examiner’s Office decides which cases are accepted for autopsy, based on information provided by the Coroner’s Office.

  • According to Georgia Statues, cases accepted for autopsy include Homicide, Suicide, Accidental, Child deaths and Natural deaths that meet specific criteria.

  • In the event of the Georgia Bureau of Investigation Medical Examiner’s Office declines an autopsy request, the family may request a private autopsy with a licensed pathologist. The cost for a private autopsy can cost the family between $3,000 and $6,000 depending on extent of the autopsy and any additional testing required during the examination.

  • Families requesting autopsy, toxicology, and/or blood post-mortem reports can be obtained through this office upon the open records request. This can take 3 – 5 months to obtain the request from the Georgia Bureau of Investigation Medical Examiner’s Office. The coroner’s report is available from this office upon open records request.

Legal Next of Kin

  • Spouse – is the husband or wife of the deceased who are legally married, separated but not divorced.

  • Children of the deceased who are 18 years of age or older.

  • Parents of the deceased.

  • Siblings of the deceased.

  • The family will be responsible for selecting a Funeral Home and/or Crematory for their loved one to be released to and will notify the Coroner’s Office of their selection.