(706) 453-7716     info@greenecountyga.gov

Coroner

Coroner B. Jeff Smith Sr.

Mail: 1034 Silver Dr., Suite 201
Greensboro, GA 30642

Phone: Office: (706) 453-2222 (Preferred)
Cell: (706) 817-6601

Fax: (706) 453-9555

Deputy Coroners Chris Peters and Greg Bilbo

The Coroner's office responds to calls twenty-four hours a day, seven-days a week to investigate and determine Cause and Manner of Death. Coroner Jeff Smith and his Deputy Coroners investigate cases of homicide, suicide, accidental, undetermined and all natural deaths that are sudden, unexpected or medically unattended. The Coroner’s office is charged by Georgia Law to determine the Cause and Manner of Death by an extensive investigation which may include a post-mortem examination. This investigation is independent of the sheriff, police, and fire departments but is done in conjunction with those other entities.

A post-mortem examination (autopsy) is ordered by this office only when it is vital in the determination of Cause and Manner of Death. When ordered by this office, a charge for the autopsy is never incurred by the family.

On completion of our Coroner’s investigation and post-mortem examination, the Coroner or his Deputy, upon delivery of a death certificate initiated by the Funeral Home, will complete said death certificate and return the certificate to the Funeral Director who is then responsible for having it certified. The death certificate is then made available to the family following the funeral or services. After that initial period, copies may be purchased from the Greene County Probate Court by calling 706-453-3346. The Probate Court is located in the Greene County Courthouse at 113 N Main St in Greensboro Ga. The Georgia Department of Public Health also can provide death certificates. Click here for more information. 

If any personal items of the deceased are retained by the Coroner’s Office, you must possess and present a current photo identification card and proof that you are the next of kin or executor of the will to pick up such items. Any prescription medications collected during our investigation will be destroyed following the investigation and not returned to the family.

The Coroner’s Office is made up of well-trained, educated individuals who are dedicated to investigating the cause of deaths, completing death reports, and treating families with support and respect.  Additionally, the Coroner’s Office partners with Law Enforcement agencies such as the Sheriff’s Office, District Attorney’s Office, and the Child Abuse Protocol Committee in studying the facts surrounding deaths and their cause and manner. Everyone in the Coroner’s Office regularly attends educational seminars to keep abreast of any new advances in death investigation as they are developed.

Primary Responsibilities

  • Investigate all deaths that occur in Greene County as required by law
  • Take possession of all unclaimed bodies in Greene County
  • Arrange for disposition of unclaimed bodies
  • Prepare and plan for mass fatality incidents
  • Systematically examine the circumstances surrounding the deaths in a geographical area

FAQs

1. How to obtain a Coroner’s report, autopsy report and toxicology report?
Answer:
In most cases the Coroner’s report is available within three business days. However in conjunction with any law enforcement agencies ongoing criminal investigation a Coroner’s report may be withheld to prevent any disclosure of privileged information that could harm the efforts of the investigation.  Simple autopsy reports such as heart attacks or strokes, where the cause of death is obvious are normally ready within thirty days.

An autopsy report may take as long as 26 weeks, depending on the level and type of test being done.

To obtain autopsy reports from the Georgia Bureau of Investigation, please direct your Open Records Act requests (under O.C.G.A. 50-18-70) to:

Open Records Unit
Georgia Bureau of Investigation
3121 Panthersville Road
Decatur, Georgia 30034

Or

Fax your request to 404-270-8529

Or

Email your request to OpenRecords@gbi.state.ga.us 

To assist you in obtaining the information that you need, please provide the following information in your request:

  • Your full name
  • Your mailing address
  • Your contact telephone number (and fax number if available)
  • The names of the subjects or victims of the investigation or report
  • The Georgia county or city where the incident occurred
  • The date of the investigation or incident associated with your request

All records requests are subject to the Georgia Open Records Act and may result in the requestor being billed for the requested information before the records are released. If you have questions, contact the GBI Open Records Unit at 404-270-8527.

2. How do I get a death certificate?
Answer: The funeral home selected by the family will generate a death certificate and send it to theCoroner’s Office for signature; we sign the certificate and return it to the funeral home which in turn files it with the Georgia Department of Health, Vital Records section.

3. Who decides if an autopsy is required?
Answer: The law. According to the law, the cause and manner of death must be determined for every death. In most non-violent cases, we use medical information from the decedent’s medical record and family history to establish the most likely cause of death. If medical evidence cannot be established from these sources, then an autopsy is required.

4. What happens to the personal property of the deceased?
Answer: Once the closest next of kinship has been established or a court order is issued naming an individual as the administrator of the estate, all property is released to that person or persons.

5. What happens to the prescription drugs issued to the deceased?
Answer:
Federal Law states that it is a violation to be in possession of drugs not issued to you by prescription. Therefore, when a person dies, all drugs issued to the deceased person are removed and destroyed.

6. Does the Coroner's Office assist with funerals?
Answer:
No. It is the family’s responsibility to assume custody of the decedent and bury the body. Even if there is no insurance on the decedent, it is NOT the responsibility of the Coroner's Office to bury the family member.

7. What happens to unclaimed bodies?
Answer: If the death has occurred within the last couple of hours and the body can be or has been removed to a refrigerated (morgue) room and NO next of kin is located the body may be turned over to science for research or teaching purposes. Some unclaimed bodies are buried in the "Paupers Cemetery" by the Coroner's Office.

Upcoming Events

Planning and Zoning Board Meeting

August 29, 2017 @ 4:00 pm - 12:00 am
To view the meeting agenda, click here.

Short-term rental ordinance public hearing

August 29, 2017 @ 4:00 pm
On Tuesday, August 29, 2017 beginning at 4:00 p.m., the Greene County Planning and Zoning Commission will conduct a public