County Coroner

In small counties such as San Juan, the duties of the County coroner are combined with the prosecuting attorney. The coroner is responsible for investigating and certifying the cause of death in those cases where death is sudden, unexpected, or the result of an accident or unlawful means. Amy S. Vira and other deputies are available 24/7 to respond to a death, and to investigate and answer questions.

Because we are trained as lawyers, not doctors, we rely on the assistance of many others to accomplish our work. We coordinate with sheriff deputies, local doctors and medical staff, hospice workers, forensic pathologists, regional medical examiners, investigators, and family members and next of kin.

There is no morgue in San Juan County and the coroner has no vehicles or equipment. The remains of deceased persons within the jurisdiction of the coroner are transported by Evans Funeral Home of Anacortes or the Snohomish County Medical Examiner. If an autopsy is necessary to determine the cause of death, the procedure takes place at the Snohomish County Medical Examiner facility in Everett.

Local Doctors
In cooperation with local doctors, the coroner does not assume jurisdiction in those cases where death is anticipated due to natural causes or disease. This office has implemented a procedure known as
NJA ("No Jurisdiction Assumed") which requires a caregiver to obtain a signed statement from the treating physician and provide that statement to the coroner before death. A copy of the NJA form is provided below. 

Coroner Looking at Evidence

No Jurisdiction Assumed Form