205 W 5th Ave
Ellensburg, WA 98926-2887
Monday - Friday
8 AM - 5 PM
Kittitas (pronounced 'KITT-i-tass') County is located in central Washington
State. It spans from the lush forested Cascade Mountains to the upper Yakima River Valley plains and
the Columbia River.
The coroner has the responsibility to investigate all deaths that are considered
unattended, this means when a person dies and has not been under a doctor’s care.
Other deaths that fall under the jurisdiction of the coroner are accidents, suspicious
deaths and crimes that result in a death of a person.
The main duties of the Coroner’s Office are to determine the cause and manner of
death, for public health and safety.
If you have any questions, please feel free to contact the coroner.
The scene investigator may take photographs, conduct interviews and will gather some
vital information while at the scene. Your loved one will be transported to a local
Call family and friends. Take time to mourn and allow yourself to grieve.
Legal next of kin should begin looking for a funeral home, cremation service or
consider donation. Our office cannot assist or offer recommendations for a funeral
home, but we may be able to help by providing contact information for your chosen
home or service.
Once arrangements are made please notify our office so that we may coordinate with
Please inform our office if there are any complications with the next of kin’s ability to choose a funeral
In Washington State next of kin is defined by law (RCW 68.50.160) lists Spouse, adult
children, parents, siblings and court appointed guardians.
Common law marriage is not recognized by state law.
Not always. The Coroner will normally not perform an autopsy if the death is a “Natural
Death”, the deceased has a physician who knows the medical cause of death and who
has seen or treated the patient recently and the physician can provide an acceptable
cause of death to the Coroner.
Examination will occur as soon as it is possible to schedule a Pathologist. Someone
from our office will remain in contact with you to keep you updated.
Washington State does not recognize a right to refuse an autopsy ordered by the
Coroner’s Office. Autopsies are done to answer medical and legal questions.
Our office recognizes your family or religious beliefs may conflict with performing an
autopsy. We are open to discussion to accommodate your wishes, within the
constraints of the investigation.
If there are any concerns or opposition, please call or notify us immediately.
In Washington State organ and tissue donation information is recorded by LifeCenter
Northwest. They may be contacted at (877)275-5269 or you may find more information
at their website, www.lcnw.org
Once you have selected a funeral home please let our office know. We are happy to
discuss the process with you, but our office cannot/will not recommend a funeral
home. Our office will coordinate release of the decedent with your permission to the
funeral home of your choosing. Release of the deceased is done as soon as possible
after an examination is completed.
In some case it may take 5-6 months for toxicology tests to be completed and finalized
autopsy report to be given to our office.
Washington State law (RCW 68.50.105) has restricted the release of some information.
If you have any questions about obtaining records call or contact our office.
Is there a form to fill out for requesting records?
Yes, a Kittitas County Request for Public Records request form is available at:
If a person dies outside their residence, in the absence of family, any personal property
on the decedent may be taken to the Kittitas County Coroner’s Office for safekeeping
or turned over to law enforcement as evidence.
Personal affects taken by this office will only be turned over to the immediate legal
next of kin. Release may be coordinated by calling or contacting our office during
business hours Monday through Friday 8a.m until 5p.m.
Kittitas County has a total area of 2,333 square miles. The highest point in the county is Mount Daniel at 7,959 feet above sea level.