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. www.scdhec.gov/VitalRecords/DeathCertificates/
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.