Grand Junction, CO 81502-4235
Mesa County Coroner's Office
The Coroner of Mesa County is an elected official who serves the citizens of Mesa County. The Office of the Coroner is mandated by Colorado Revised Statute and is a separate and independent organization, which conducts investigations into the cause and manner of a person’s death.
Dean M Havlik, M.D.
Deaths may be expected, but others; which are sudden, unexpected, and suspicious or from a violent act are investigated by the Coroner’s Office. The responsibility of the Mesa County Coroner’s Office is to conduct a complete unbiased forensic investigation to determine the cause and manner of death, and to answer any questions which may arise. Questions which seem irrelevant in the initial hours after death can become significant in the following months.
The Medicolegal staff consists of Forensic Pathologists and / or an investigator who is a Diplomate of the American Board of Medicolegal Death Investigation or is eligible to become one. The ABMDI is the national certification examination for death investigation that tests knowledge base in over 260 areas. Further, Investigators with the office maintain certification as a certified death investigator with the Colorado Coroner’s Association (CCA).
The Coroner and staff recognize each death reported to the Mesa County Coroner’s Office represents the death of a person whose absence is grieved by relatives and friends. Therefore, the Mesa County Coroner’s Office extends its deepest sympathy to relatives and friends during a very difficult time.
- Pronounce the death and establish time of death - Only a physician or the coroner may pronounce a death.
- Scene investigation - Colorado law is specific that the body of a deceased person may not be moved until the coroner has responded to the death and conducted the investigation.
- Take custody of the body - Colorado law states it is the responsibility of the coroner to see that the body is removed from the scene.
- Make positive identification of the deceased - Identification and notification of the next of kin.
- Discovery of Remains - Remains that are complete or partial are sometimes found, thus the coroner must follow certain statutory obligations notifying other state agencies.