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A coroner is a county official who determines the cause of death of anyone who dies from unnatural causes. The precise role of a coroner varies by jurisdiction and is sometimes defined by statute. 

For Example:

1) In Pennsylvania, as explained in this case, the function of a coroner is to investigate the causes of sudden, violent and unnatural deaths in order to determine whether they were caused by an act and to consequently bring the responsible person to trial. The coroner has power to appoint deputies; make rules and regulations for the control of morgues; to order an autopsy where it is essential to ascertain the cause and nature of death; and to undertake a judicial inquiry into the manner of death.

2) Similarly, in Kansas, as explained in this case, a coroner is a public officer whose main duty is to ascertain the cause of death of a person dying of unnatural causes. The coroner requests an inquest regarding the cause of the death as per K.S.A. 19-22a-230

[Last updated in June of 2021 by the Wex Definitions Team]