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Welcome to the Kentucky Coroner's Association!


In order to assist the citizens of the Commonwealth of Kentucky, we have provided information on how to contact coroners and find answers to frequently asked questions about our professional services. Coroners can also find information and sign up for training programs through the Department of Criminal Justice Training.

In Calendar Year 2013, according to preliminary data from the Office of Vital Statistics, Kentucky's coroners and deputy coroners conducted 9,400 death investigations across the Commonwealth. As part of those investigations, coroners requested services from the State Medical Examiner's Office in 2,385 of those cases, or 25.3% of all deaths. This compares to:

Calendar Year 2012 with 9,912 coroner death investigations and 2,402 autopsies
Calendar Year 2011 with 9,282 coroner death investigations and 2,378 autopsies
Calendar Year 2010 with 9,566 coroner death investigations and 2,452 autopsies
Calendar Year 2009 with 8,953 coroner death investigations and 2,373 autopsies.

The death investigation system in Kentucky is a cooperative effort among and between county coroners' offices and the State Medical Examiner's Office. In the Commonwealth of Kentucky, coroners and deputy coroners have the full power and authority of peace officers and they investigate the cause and manner of all deaths that are defined as coroner's cases by KRS 72.405.

Contacts for the Kentucky Coroner's Association:

Brian Ritchie, Executive Secretary
Lawrenceburg, Kentucky
Phone: (502) 839-5151
E-mail: blritchie66@yahoo.com

Mitchell Lee, Association President (2014-2015)
Marshall County Coroner
Benton, Kentucky
Phone: (270) 527-6940

PRESS RELEASE from the Kentucky Office of Vital Statistics

Only 2 Training Days Remaining!!

Electronic Death Reporting Becoming Mandatory

System Users Encouraged to Prepare for Upcoming Changes

FRANKFORT, Ky. (Nov. 5, 2014) -

Coroners, funeral home personnel, physicians and others responsible for the registration of death certificates will soon be required to electronically file information needed to complete death certificates, using the Kentucky Electronic Death Registration System (KY-EDRS). The change will take effect Jan. 1, 2015, phasing out the paper-based system currently used by the Office of Vital Statistics in conjunction with electronic reporting. The transition to exclusive electronic filing, mandated by state law, is anticipated to speed the process, while maintaining the accuracy and security of the records.

KY-EDRS was designed several years ago, giving users the option to file records electronically while others could continue to use the original, paper-based reporting system if they preferred. Electronic reporting was mandated following the passage of Senate Bill 52 during the 2013 General Assembly. The state death registry is a crucial piece of our work of modernizing the Office of Vital Statistics, and we have enrolled many enthusiastic users across the state,” said Stephanie Mayfield, M.D., commissioner of the Kentucky Department for Public Health. “Those who have been relying on the old, paper-based system need to be aware of the upcoming change over to the electronic, web-based system. While this represents a transition in process for those who submit death information, the electronic death registry dramatically improves our death reporting system and the speed with which we are able to serve Kentuckians.” KY-EDRS is a free and secure web-based application. With KY-EDRS, funeral directors,  physicians, coroners and any other medical certifier will be able to complete their portion of the death registration process faster, more efficiently and with fewer errors. Currently there are 404 funeral facilities, 81 coroners’ offices and 40 medical facilities signed on and using the KY-EDRS. As of June 2014, 56 percent of all Kentucky death certificates were filed using the KY-EDRS.

To be granted access to the electronic system, users must contact Vital Statistics to create an account. Those who have not created an account are encouraged to do so well in advance of the Jan. 1 deadline to avoid delays or disruptions to the system. While the switch to electronic reporting represents a significant change for many users, KY-EDRS offers numerous benefits that will make reporting easier and faster.  “KY-EDRS saves time and effort by enabling death certificate completion electronically,” said State Registrar Paul Royce.  “Death data registration is greatly improved because the system incorporates edits, minimizes errors, and enables communication between funeral directors and medical certifiers. The efficiency of KY-EDRS far outweighs the previous paper-based system.” “We’re asking for the help of all parties involved in death registration to make the switch now, if they haven’t already done so, in order to smooth the transition,” said Royce. 

While KY-EDRS training is not mandatory for participation in the online system, funeral directors and medical certifiers may find it helpful to take part in face-to-face training sessions offered on how to register and file death certificates electronically.
Scheduled classes are available on Nov. 12 and Dec. 10.  All sessions are conducted from 9 to 11 a.m.
(EST).  Training will take place at the Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family Services in the CHR Building located at 275 East Main St., Frankfort. To register, call the Office of Vital Statistics at (866)451-3781 and a representative will assist. Additional information is available on the KY-EDRS website http://chfs.ky.gov/dph/vital/KY-EDRS.htm

The electronic version of the release is posted here http://chfs.ky.gov/news/Deathreporting14.htm, if you prefer to share electronically. Thanks!

The Cabinet for Health and Family Services is home to most of the state's human services and health care programs, including Medicaid, the Department for Community Based Services and the Department
for Public Health. CHFS is one of the largest agencies in state government, with nearly 8,000 full and part-time employees throughout the Commonwealth focused on improving the lives and health of Kentuckians.

Beth Crace Fisher
Public Information Officer
Cabinet for Health and Family Services
275 E. Main St., 5C-A
Frankfort, KY 40621
(502) 564-6786 ext. 3101
Fax: (502) 564-0274


Kentucky Coroners and Deputy Coroners become certified with the American Board of Medicolegal Death Investigators (ABMDI)

Six Kentucky Coroners and Deputy Coroners recently sat for examination and received their professional certification from the American Board of Medicolegal Death Investigators (ABMDI). They are:

Fayette County- Coroner Gary Ginn, Deputy Coroners Albert Beatty, Micheal Durbin, Miles White II, Onda Shea Willis
Boone County- Deputy Coroner Elizabeth Rittinger

Other certificants from Kentucky include Fayette County Deputy Coroners John Cox, Claire Dixon-Conder, John McCarty, Boyd County Coroner Mark Hammond, Deputy Coroner Ralph Beadle, DMD, and Wayne County Coroner Forrest Hicks.

The American Board of Medicolegal Death Investigators (ABMDI) is a voluntary national, not-for-profit, independent professional certification board that has been established to promote the highest standards of practice for medicolegal death investigators. It is accredited by the Forensic Specialties Accreditation Board. 

Purposes of the American Board of Medicolegal Death Investigators®:

  • To encourage adherence to high standards of professional practice and ethical conduct when performing medicolegal death investigations.
  • To recognize qualified individuals who have voluntarily applied for basic and advanced levels of professional certification.
  • To grant and issue certificates to individuals who have demonstrated their mastery of investigational techniques and who have successfully completed rigorous examination of their knowledge and skills in the field of medicolegal death investigation.
  • To maintain a listing of individuals granted ABMDI certification.
  • To recertify individuals every five years according to established professional recertification criteria, including continuing education requirements and work verification.



Kentucky Coroners Association star logo

2013 Coroners Directory

Need to locate a coroner in Kentucky? Click the following link to view or

download the:

Coroners Master List 01392014


As issues may come up from time to time regarding coroners and KODA, some of our Coroners and Deputy Coroners may not be familiar with the specific KRS statutes that address the issue. You will find a link to the statute here at KRS Organ Donation Statute.  This will also be posted in the Forensic Library section

Last Updated 11/5/2014
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