600 Monument Street
Suite 223 P-127
Greenwood, SC 29646
Hours: 8:30-5:00 Monday-Friday
Sonny Cox, Coroner
Phone: (864) 942-8552
Fax: (864) 943-8026
To serve and protect the interest of the community by maintaining the highest level of professionalism and integrity while determining the cause and manner of death.
Greenwood County Coroner's Biography
A native of Greenwood, SC, Roy E. (Sonny) Cox, Jr. attended Greenwood County public schools, and holds an Associate’s Degree in Criminal Justice from Piedmont Technical College. He began his law enforcement career in August of 1977, with the Greenwood City Police Department. His experience includes working in criminal investigations, narcotics, and traffic accident investigations. During his tenure with the Greenwood City Police Department, he was the recipient of numerous meritorious awards, to include the International Civitans Award for courageous service. In 2006, he retired at the rank of Captain after 29 continuous years of service.
Subsequently, in May of 2006, Sonny began working with the Greenwood County Sheriff’s Office in a newly created division for community services, where he served as a Major under the leadership of Sheriff Tony Davis. In 2007, he was awarded the Cornerstone Award for Community Service. Sonny retired again from the Sheriff’s Office in December of 2012.
In January of 2013 the Citizens of Greenwood County called upon his services again, but this time by electing him to represent them in the position of Greenwood County Coroner. Sonny dutifully answered this call and by November of that same year he had already achieved his certification as a Diplomate of the American Board of Medicolegal Death Investigators.
Sonny’s true love for Greenwood and its citizens has also afforded him the opportunities to devote much of his time outside of his law enforcement career to serving on various community Boards such as Healthy Greenwood Neighborhoods, the Salvation Army, the Greenwood Chamber of Commerce and the Humane Society.
Sonny is now completing his second term as the Coroner of Greenwood County and looks forward to many more years of service to come. Within his first term he was able to accomplish getting the coroner’s office internationally accredited. Sonny was also chosen by his peers throughout the state of South Carolina and awarded the Coroner of the Year award. In 2018 Sonny was once again awarded the Sue Townsend award from the South Carolina Coroner's Association.
Goals and Objectives
The Greenwood County Coroner's Office is dedicated to providing the citizens of Greenwood County with timely medico-legal death investigations in a professional and courteous manner, while ensuring the highest level of compassion, dignity, and respect for the deceased and their family. Through collaborative efforts and advances in technology and training, our efforts will serve the community of Greenwood County on a higher standard of professionalism.
The Coroner ensures that the citizens of Greenwood County are protected against known hazards that have caused a death by taking corrective measures. To accomplish this goal, my office and I will continue to speak at special functions across the county to inform the citizens of any changes or hazards they may need to know.
The Coroner will adequately equip all deputy coroners so they can perform within the established and published guidelines and standards set forth by SC State Law and OSHA regulations. It is my goal to increase the training to those who perform such duties in their capacity.
Determine cause and manner of death.
• Investigation of all reported deaths in Greenwood County including unaccompanied deaths, deaths that occur within 24 hours of a hospital admission, and any other suspicious or accidental death.
• Schedule, assist and maintain the records of autopsies and death investigations.
• Perform toxicology tests on decedents through the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division.
• Communicate with the S.C. Organ Procurement Association.
• Provide reports to law enforcement agencies.
• Maintain files on all reported deaths.
• Secure the certification of death certificates.
• Complete the death certificates on all deaths that are coroner cases.
• Provide Cremation Permits to funeral homes.
• Secure and house any property obtained from decedents for the next of kin.
• Oversee the cremation for indigent decedents and abandoned bodies.
• Community awareness and education programs speaking with schools and organizations.
Frequently Asked Questions
I am caring for an elderly family member in my home who is not under hospice care, but very near death. When he/she passes away can I call the funeral home, or do I have to call the Coroner’s Office?
Unless a doctor is in attendance at the time of death you must call 9-1-1 and they will see that the Coroner’s Office is contacted. ( If the person IS under hospice care you should call hospice, they will contact the Coroner’s office.)
Can I donate my relative’s organs and tissues?
South Carolina has a law that provides an opportunity for the next of kin to donate organs and tissues. Donation can dramatically improve, even save, the lives of others. We are glad to assist you by contacting the appropriate agency for you so they can explain to you all options and benefits of donating. If you prefer, you may call the We are Sharing Hope of South Carolina 1-800-462-0755, or American Red Cross at 1-800-922-5986.
There are no funds for burial. What do I do?
If the decedent’s family or estate does not have sufficient funds for burial, you should select a funeral home and explain the situation to the director. Either that funeral home or another will have several options available to assist you in making arrangements. If nothing can be worked out, contact our office for information.
Will an autopsy be performed?
The Coroner authorizes an autopsy when one is needed to establish the cause of death. Usually, an autopsy is not needed when the death is clearly from natural causes. Should an autopsy be necessary, the Coroner will certify a death certificate soon after the examination is completed. Occasionally, more extensive testing is required, in which case a pending death certificate will be signed by the Coroner. A final death certificate will be signed following the completion of special testing.
How/Where can I get the death certificate?
Death certificates are obtained through the funeral home where you make arrangements. Also, death certificates are filed with the Greenwood County Health Department. Should you require certified copies, they can be purchased from the Greenwood County Health Department, 1736 South Main Street, Greenwood SC 29646, (864) 227-5915, or directly through Vital Records at D.H.E.C. Columbia, South Carolina 29201, (803) 898-3630.
Can anyone call the coroner’s office to find out if a particular person has died in Greenwood County?
Only limited information is available to the public. If it is a Coroner’s case we can confirm a death if next of kin has been notified. We don’t discuss cases with anyone other than immediate next of kin or law enforcement agencies involved in a case.
Who can get copies of a decedent’s reports?
Reports are available to the legal next of kin, legal counsel, insurance companies and law enforcement.
Does the Greenwood Coroner’s Office keep records of where someone is buried?
That information is listed on the death certificate. Death certificates can be obtained by calling DHEC at (803)898-3630
Will I be charged for the services of the Coroner?
When a case falls under the jurisdiction of the Coroner, there is no charge for an autopsy and the related testing. Families are still responsible for the cost of a funeral or cremation.
Why is the Coroner involved?
State law requires the Coroner to inquire into and determine the circumstances, manner, and cause of all unexpected, violent, or unusual deaths. Certain natural deaths must be investigated as well.
What are the office hours of the Greenwood County Coroner's Office?
The office hours are Monday-Friday from 8:30 A.M to 5:00 P.M. The Coroner or on call deputy can be reached after hours in an emergency by calling Greenwood County 911 at (864) 942-8632.
IAC & ME Accreditation
March 2, 2015
Greenwood County Coroner’s Office
Attn: Sonny Cox
600 Monument St – P127
Greenwood, SC 29646
Dear Coroner Cox,
As President of the International Association of Coroners and Medical Examiners (IAC&ME) and on behalf of those members that we represent, I would like to congratulate you on your accreditation with our association.
The Accreditation Auditors made it clear that the Greenwood County Coroner’s Office makes every effort to provide the highest level of service to the citizens, neighbors and visitors of Greenwood County. This is accomplished by a dedicated team of well-trained investigators through timely and compassionate investigations of deaths occurring in their jurisdiction. They strive to maintain a mutually beneficial relationship with local law enforcement as well as with local EMS providers. Greenwood County Coroner’s Office also takes advantage of every opportunity to educate and to build trust within their medical community and they are the voice of those who can no longer speak for themselves.
The IAC&ME is proud to say that the Greenwood County Coroner’s Office is a great representation of what our association expects from an accredited office. The Accreditation certificate will be presented to you or your representative at the IAC&ME business meeting at the 2015 Annual Training Conference that will convene the week of June 26, 2015.
John Fudenberg, D-ABMDI, President
Click Here to view Acceptance Letter from IAC&ME
Click Here to view Press Release
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