Information For Relatives And Friends Of Deceased Persons

Information included on this page:
  • Frequently Asked Questions
  • Coroner Reports 
  • Important Forms and Links
  • Solano County Coroner's Office Brochure

 Frequently Asked Questions

What do I do now?

We understand that the selection of a funeral home is a personal decision.  Feel free to contact a funeral home of your choice.  A list of Solano County funeral homes is provided below for convenience.  The funeral home professionals are prepared to assist you in making arrangements and will work closely with the Coroner's Office to arrange for the release of your loved one from our facility.  They may assist you in obtaining certified copies of the death certificate once they are filed with the County.

Why is the Coroner involved in the death of my loved one or friend? 

The Coroner is required by state law to investigate all unnatural deaths, or deaths where the attending Medical Doctor is unable to state a cause of death as well as cases where the deceased has not been seen by a doctor for 20 days prior to death. We establish positive identity of the deceased; determine the place, date and time; and the cause and classification of death. The Coroner’s investigation is not limited to the examination of the deceased, but may include interviews with family members and other witnesses, the collection of physical evidence, and the safeguarding of personal property found at the death scene.

What constitutes a Coroner's Case?

Coroner's Offices throughout the state fall under the jurisdiction of California Government Code 27491 and Health and Safety Code 102850, which directs the Coroner's Office to inquire into and determine the circumstances, cause, and manner of the following types of deaths:
  • Any death from known or suspected homicide
  • Any death by known or suspected suicide
  • Any death resulting from known or suspected accident, old or recent
  • Any death involving known or suspected criminal action
  • Any death related to substance abuse or poisoning
  • Any death in which a physician is unable to reasonably state a cause of death
  • Any death involving suspected contagious diseases constituting a public hazard
  • Any death of unidentified persons
  • Any death related to occupational diseases or hazards
  • Any death suspected to be from Sudden Infant Syndrome (SIDS).
  • Any death wherein the decedent has not been attended by a physician within the 20 days preceding death
  • Any death while in jail or police custody or at State prisons

Is an autopsy really necessary?

Not all deaths investigated by the Coroner require an autopsy. Autopsies are performed only on those cases where it is required by law or where it is necessary to determine the cause of death.

The Coroner's concern is to determine cause and manner of death.  Determining the cause of death in a person may help identify histories, contagious disease, and help prevent further premature or preventable deaths within the community.  In criminal cases, autopsies help courts to reach a just verdict.  Finally, autopsies help families understand how the death occurred and provide closure.  This can be an important step in the grieving process.

What if I want an autopsy performed on my relative?

Not all deaths require an autopsy.  You may request that an autopsy be performed, but it is the Medical Examiner-Coroner's decision if one is clinically or legally necessary.  Unfortunately, the Solano County Coroner's Office does not perform private autopsies.

Can I see my relative/friend at the Coroner's Office?

Unfortunately, the Coroner's Office does not have the facilities for public viewing. You will be able to see your loved one or friend once they are moved to the funeral home.

There are no funds to pay for burial. What can I do?

If the deceased or the legal next of kin do not have sufficient funds for burial, the alternative may be the Indigent Program.  Please contact us for more information.

When can I have the funeral?

The Coroner will complete the examination portion of the investigation as soon as possible. For further information on your relative/friend's specific details, please contact the Deputy assigned to your relative/friend. Our goal is to work with families so as not delay funeral plans.

Can I bury my relative/friend at my home?

In California, a body must be buried in a cemetery. Your city and county authorities are empowered to establish areas/land for human burial. Check with your city zoning department to find out whether you can establish a cemetery for a home burial; it may be possible if you live in a rural area.

My relative/friend was in the military.  Who do I contact for burial information?

Persons who have served in the United States Armed Forces, were honorably discharged, and meet other service requirements may be entitled to a Veteran's burial.  For more information, contact the Solano County Veteran Services at (707) 784-6590 or the US Department of Veterans Affairs at (800) 698-2411.

What about tissue/organ donation?

In conjunction with Donor Network West, the Solano County Coroner's Office supports the donation of organs and tissues.  If you are interested in donating, please call the Organ & Tissue Donor Referral Hotline at (925) 480-3100 as soon as possible.

When will I know the cause of death?

The pathologist can sometimes determine the cause of death right after examination. Other times, the pathologist needs to have more tests done. In that case, the County will issue a deferred or pending death certificate. Due to the thoroughness and quality of our lab testing, and significant increase in drug deaths in Solano County during the past couple years, toxicology testing can be a lengthy process. Currently, toxicology results can take between six and ten weeks.

Once the additional testing is completed, the pathologist can amend the death certificate, if needed, with the final cause of death.

                                        Coroner Reports:

Copies of most Coroner, Pathology and Toxicology reports are available for release once the case is closed. A case may take several months to close, so please be patient.  The first copy to the next-of-kin is provided at no charge.

How do I get copies of Coroner reports?

  • Public Records Request
  • Contact us directly at (707) 784-7500

    What does the coroner report include?

    A coroner report includes the Coroner Report, the Pathology (Autopsy) Report, and Toxicology Report, if toxicology was done. 

    How do I obtain the Death Certificate?

    After the death certificate has been filed with the County and the funeral director is no longer involved on behalf of he family, certified copies of the death certificate may be obtained from the Solano County Assessor Recorder or from the Solano County Office of Vital Statistics.  You may also call them directly at (707) 784-8060.

    The Solano County Coroner’s Office contributes to the creation of most Death Certificates; but does not issue them.

                                        Important Forms and Links:

     Solano County Vital Statistics/Records

     Solano County Coroner's Brochure

      California Government Code 27491

    Health and Safety Code 102850

     Social Security Death Benefits

     Veteran's Association Website

     About Sudden Unexpected Infant Death (SIDS & SUID)

    Solano County Coroner's Release Authorization FY24-25

     Public Records Request

    Public Records Request Online Portal

    Solano County Funeral Home Resources

    Helpful Telephone Numbers