Coroner’s Office

David Ferry

Welcome to the Office of the Coroner for Vernon County, Missouri.  I am your Coroner David Ferry.  The office of Coroner is not among the first government services that come to mind when citizens think what they pay for with property taxes. The Coroner is an obscure job visible mainly to the members of public safety agencies, journalists and relatives of those who die from suspected homicides, suicides or accidents. Other members of the public have little reason to familiarize themselves with the workings of the Office or the qualifications of those who hold the Office of Coroner.
Duties of the Coroner….
To Investigate Certain Types of Deaths:

  • Homicide
  • Suicide
  • Accidental
  • Criminal Abortions (including those self-induced)
  • Unforeseen Sudden Occurrence (not seen by physician 36 hours preceding death)
  • Custody Deaths (while in custody of law enforcement)
  • Penal Deaths (lethal injection / legal execution)
  • Child Deaths (under age of 18)
  • Unusual or Suspicious Manner Deaths
  • Occur in Non-licensed Health Care Facilities
Special Duties of the Coroner….

  • Operate Efficient Coroner’s Office
  • Prepare a Budget for Income and Expenditures
  • To be Conservator of Peace (throughout his or her county)
  • To Execute Process When Sheriff Disqualified (when Sheriff is a party / involved)
  • To Perform Duties of Sheriff When Office is Vacant (by death or otherwise)
  • To Hold Coroner’s Inquest / Coroner’s Jury
  • To Issue Warrant to Summon Coroner’s Jury (Coroner inquest)
  • Coroner to Administer Oath to Jurors
  • Coroner to Issue Subpoenas (witnesses)
  • Order Postmortem Examination (autopsy)
  • Certify Cause and Manner of Death (death certificate)
  • Order Blood Sample Test for Alcohol & Drug Content (all motor vehicle fatalities)
  • Report Toxicology results in writing to Missouri State Highway Patrol
  • Procure Organ Donations (procurement of cadaver organ and tissue donation)