Dauphin County Coroner's Office

Dauphin County Coroner's Office The main function of the Coroner's office is to determine the cause and manner of death when it falls under the Coroner's jurisdiction.

Operating as usual

01/30/2021
Last Responder

Last Responder

It is Coroner and MDI Recognition Week. This was created to bring recognition and awareness to an industry so often overlooked. Coroners, medical examiners, medicolegal death investigators, deputy coroners...all part of a very niche industry that sees more tragedy than even fathomable.

Thank you to all of my co-workers, past and present. We have been through and seen a lot. As for me, I know I can say with confidence that if it weren’t for some of you, I’d be lost. There are times all I want to do is cry. Holding the tiny body of a life that was supposed to flourish and grow. Telling parents their teenager isn’t coming home and then hugging the mom as she punches you. Consoling the dad as he falls to his knees and begs you to tell him you’re wrong.

There are days it feels like to much. Then I remember that I am entrusted with the responsibility to be the voice of those who can no longer speak. To find the answers the families so desperately seek. I wear that entrustment like a badge of honor. When someone takes the time out of their lives, in the midst of dealing with their tragedy, to write me a letter and simply say thank you, it’s little things like that remind me why I do what I do.

If you know a last responder, reach out to them this week and show them love and support as well and let them know they aren't alone!
💜🖤💜🖤💜🖤

Death Investigators,

I see you:

To the death investigator waking up shaking, having nightmares about your last scene, I see you.

To the death investigator knocking on a door at 03:00 to give a family the worst news of their lives, I see you.

To the death investigator pulling away from a scene just to pull over around the block, out of view - so you can cry for a while, I see you.

To the death investigator looking for evidence in a filthy drug house, while trying not to be stuck by a dirty needle, I see you.

To the death investigator called to an ER scene, interviewing a family that prayed their loved one would survive, I see you.

To the death investigator attempting to maintain composure as you stand questioning parents about the sudden death of their infant and having to ask them to place the doll in the position in which they last saw their child alive, I see you.

To the death investigator searching for a young persons Facebook profile in an attempting to get a tiny glimpse of the lives you’re about to destroy with your notification, I see you.

To the death investigator being told time and time again how “awesome” your job must be, knowing people have NO idea, I see you.

To the death investigator putting your heart and soul into your job, to find truth, provide dignity and help families navigate the worst days of their lives, I see you.

To the death investigator dealing with the most tragic of events, day after day, I see you.

To the death investigator, almost always forgotten, and rarely thanked, I see you.

We stand together, but often alone

We are the last responders

💜🖤💜🖤💜🖤💜🖤💜🖤💜🖤

#lastresponder

To all my coworkers, thank you for your service.

💜🖤💜🖤💜🖤💜🖤💜🖤💜🖤

11/05/2020

Below are my thoughts regarding the veto by Governor Wolf of SB 1164 that I thought I would share.

Why on earth would Governor Wolf veto SB 1164 in the middle of the COVID 19 Pandemic? What are you hiding Governor Wolf that you do not want the people to see? This bill had bipartisan support in the Senate with veto proof majority and the House was only 2 votes shy of being veto proof.

SB 1164 would have required all healthcare facilities, personal care homes or physicians to report all deaths due to COVID 19, other contagious diseases constituting a public hazard to be reported to the coroner.

SB 1164 would have provided electronic access to Death certificate information by all Coroners to verify deaths have occurred and assuring accuracy of reporting of these deaths. This is especially important during a pandemic to reduce the spread of illness in our communities.

SB 1164 would have protected our county residents, first responders including EMS, Fire and Law Enforcement personnel that may have had contact with the deceased prior to death.
In response to the Governor’s veto memo:

1. The current Electronic Death Registry System placed a choke hold resulting in considerable backlogs in filing of death certificates. This resulted in 5 – 7 day or more delays in final disposition of many deceased early on in the COVID 19 Pandemic.

2. Public safety is currently being jeopardized by NOT reporting COVID 19 deaths to the Coroners as already required in the PA Coroner Statutes 1218-B #7 “deaths due to contagious disease that constitute a public hazard.”

3. Coroners being notified immediately at the time of death is critical for contact tracing especially in Counties that do not have County Department of Health Agencies. This protects family members, first responders, fire, EMS and law enforcement personnel that may have had contact with the deceased prior to or at the time of their death.

4. The Bill does not change the structure of reporting because the reporting to Coroners is performed immediately at the time of death, simultaneously the death is certified in the Electronic Death Registry System by the treating medical professional.

5. Coroners never delay disposition except in those cases where additional testing or autopsies are needed to more accurately determine the cause of death.

6. Coroners already have access to many databases and medical records containing identifiable health information. This information is never shared outside of investigating agencies.

7. The death certificate information containing the date, time, cause and manner of death is already public information 30 days after the year that the death occurred. For transparency and accuracy of death reporting there is no reason Coroners should not have access to death certification information on file.

8. DOH is violating CDC guidelines and PA Coroner Law in not recognizing the Coroners statutory duties with respect to contagious diseases.

9. By insisting on reporting deaths and COVID cases by county of residence instead of by county of death, the DOH has created confusion and a failure to recognize that the individual has most recently had contact with persons in the county where they died. In one instance a person was reported as a COVID case in Pennsylvania when, in fact, they were residing in a far western State for 6 months.

10. The CDC has clarified death counts to indicate that only 6% of the deaths are FROM COVID, while 94% are deaths with 2 or more comorbidities, i.e. cancer, heart issues, diabetes, and the like, WITH COVID. This designation of COVID may be actually tested for and confirmed or not or may be presumed to be present.

11. And of course, in Pennsylvania, 66% of the COVID listed deaths are from the infected elderly required by the Governor to go back to nursing homes, but only after his Secretary of Health's mother was moved from a nursing home.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me at your convenience.

Thanks,
Graham

Graham Hetrick, MS., FD., D-ABMDI, B.C.F.E
Dauphin County Coroner
Office: 717-564-4567
Fax: 717-558-1135
email: [email protected]

Last Responder
01/25/2020

Last Responder

National Coroner and Medicolegal Death Investigator week is coming January 27-Feb 2nd, with January 29th being appreciation day!

#lastresponder

We authorize over 2,000 cremation here in Dauphin County a year
12/13/2019

We authorize over 2,000 cremation here in Dauphin County a year

We authorize about 800 cremations here in Lycoming County every year.

As the summer internship term comes to an end. We would like like to thank the 3 interns for a wonderful term.
08/07/2019

As the summer internship term comes to an end. We would like like to thank the 3 interns for a wonderful term.

American Heart Association
06/06/2019

American Heart Association

Know the difference and spread the word. Fast action can save a life. #CPRWeek #CPRSavesLives http://spr.ly/6182Em7Jp

05/17/2019
Lycoming County Coroner's Office

Lycoming County Coroner's Office

Again I spent many hours trying to locate the wife of a man tragically killed in a car crash. I went to her home and when she wasn't there I called and went to numerous places where she was believed to work. Many hours later I was able to find her to deliver this tragic news. Today more than ever it is a race with social media to deliver death notifications, which is clearly not the way anyone should find out about the loss of their loved one. Please keep emergency contact information with you at all times, you just never know when this information may be needed by EMS, Hospital Staff and the Coroner's Office.

02/20/2019

Everyone be safe on the roadways. If you don't have to be out driving please don't.

Make sure to move over and give first responders and tow truck drivers room to safely perform their duties.

10/24/2018

If you are a junior or senior in an undergraduate or graduate program for forensic science and you are looking for an internship the application is due by Nov. 15th for Term #1. The application and requirements for the internship can be found at our website.

What's that you say? You still didn't get your Dauphin County Coroner t-shirt or hoodie yet?  Better hurry stock is limi...
08/29/2018

What's that you say? You still didn't get your Dauphin County Coroner t-shirt or hoodie yet? Better hurry stock is limited and prices are dropping. Available at the office, cash only please.

Short Sleeve T-Shirts now only $10
Long Sleeve T-Shirts now only $12
Hoodies now only $15

Just in time for your back to school shopping, new swag from the Dauphin County Coroner's Office! Available at the offic...
08/29/2018

Just in time for your back to school shopping, new swag from the Dauphin County Coroner's Office! Available at the office, cash only please.

Travel mugs $10 Key chains $5

Coroner Hetrick teaching Blood Spatter Analysis at Lower Paxton Forensic Academy
06/19/2018

Coroner Hetrick teaching Blood Spatter Analysis at Lower Paxton Forensic Academy

Deputy Coroner Rich Wilson investigating a suspicious death in Harrisburg City.  The death was later found to be from an...
05/18/2018

Deputy Coroner Rich Wilson investigating a suspicious death in Harrisburg City. The death was later found to be from an opioid overdose. Special thanks to Squad 8 - Harrisburg Bureau of Fire for assistance with removal from a precarious location in the woods.

Why Pa. counties are suing OxyContin drug maker
05/03/2018
Why Pa. counties are suing OxyContin drug maker

Why Pa. counties are suing OxyContin drug maker

Opioid addiction killed over 5,200 Pennsylvanians in 2017, shattering families and leaving children without parents. It has also taken a heavy financial toll on county agencies -- and increasingly, th

12/30/2017

If you don't have to be out on the roads please don't they are not in great condition. If you have to be out please leave earlier and take your time.

Also don't forget to slow down and move to the adjacent lane for emergency crews. Lets keep all First Responders safe while they are out on the roads.

Coroner’s office to add staff for handling overdose deaths
11/22/2017
Coroner’s office to add staff for handling overdose deaths

Coroner’s office to add staff for handling overdose deaths

HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) – Dauphin County’s preliminary budget for 2018 calls for adding one full-time and two part-time deputies in the coroner’s office to handle rising drug overd…

Safe Sleep
11/16/2017
Safe Sleep

Safe Sleep

Make sure everyone in your house knows how your baby should sleep, including caregivers and babysitters: Safe sleep for babies is everyone’s responsibility!

Dauphin County Safe Sleep Campaign was kicked off today. This campaign is spearheaded  by a committee formed from member...
11/16/2017
ABC27 News

Dauphin County Safe Sleep Campaign was kicked off today. This campaign is spearheaded by a committee formed from members of the Dauphin County Child Death Review Team

Since 2005, 31 infants have died from sleep-related causes in Dauphin County.

Deputy Rich Wilson investigates a fatal crash on Peters Mountain Rd. in Middle Paxton Twp.  Photos courtesy of Seth Lask...
10/18/2017

Deputy Rich Wilson investigates a fatal crash on Peters Mountain Rd. in Middle Paxton Twp. Photos courtesy of Seth Lasko Photography.

07/26/2017

We would like to keep the public up to date with the current Drug Fatality numbers. There were 90 Drug Fatalities in 2016 and 58 so far for 2017. We anticipate to surpass the amount of Drug Fatalities in 2016 this year.

Deputy Zach Smeltz took time to teach some students about being a deputy coroner at the Halifax Wildcat Educational Foun...
06/27/2017

Deputy Zach Smeltz took time to teach some students about being a deputy coroner at the Halifax Wildcat Educational Foundation Science Summer Camp.

U. S. First Responders Association
05/02/2017

U. S. First Responders Association

Dear Medics, Police, and Firefighters. Please share this with your colleagues. If you find drugs on a patient, be extremely careful when handling them. A "new" drug is in town called "carfentanil" which is so potent that it landed two first responders in the hospital from inhaling dust while closing a ziplock bag a patient had. Expect people who OD to take 10x more Narcan to start breathing again. The picture by NHPR compares the lethal amounts of he**in, fentanyl, and carfentanil. Read more and find some on-scene safety tips at http://www.usfra.org/group/drug-safety-for-first-responders/forum/topics/dea-warnings-about-carfentanil-fentanyl

Deputy Rich Wilson investigates a fatal crash on Peters Mountain Rd in Middle Paxton Twp.  Pictures courtesy of Seth Las...
02/22/2017

Deputy Rich Wilson investigates a fatal crash on Peters Mountain Rd in Middle Paxton Twp. Pictures courtesy of Seth Lasko.

Man convicted in shooting death of Harrisburg police chief’s nephew
02/09/2017
Man convicted in shooting death of Harrisburg police chief’s nephew

Man convicted in shooting death of Harrisburg police chief’s nephew

HARRISBURG, Pa. --A Harrisburg man has been convicted in the shooting death of 36-year-old John Thomas Carter. A Dauphin County jury deliberated over two days and found Glenn Walker III, 20, guilty of first degree homicide. Walker, who was 19 at the time of the shooting, was accused of killing Carte...

Address

1271 South 28th St.
Harrisburg, PA
17111

Opening Hours

Monday 8:30am - 4:30pm
Tuesday 8:30am - 4:30pm
Wednesday 8:30am - 4:30pm
Thursday 8:30am - 4:30pm
Friday 8:30am - 4:30pm

Telephone

(717) 564-4567

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