Jeffrey Lees, Coroner
Joseph Hribar, Chief Deputy Coroner
Charles Mahon, Deputy Coroner
Michael Pakstis, Deputy Coroner
Central Park Complex
110 Franklin Street, Suite 500
Johnstown, PA 15901-1831
Available 7 days per week; 24 hours a day
The Cambria County Coroner's Office shall conduct investigations to determine the cause and manner of any death that falls into their jurisdiction and to determine whether or not there is sufficient reason for the Coroner to believe any such death may have resulted from criminal acts or criminal neglect of persons other than the deceased.
The Coroner has jurisdiction in the following eleven (11) circumstances:
- Sudden deaths not caused by readily recognizable disease, or wherein the cause of death cannot be properly certified by a physician on the basis of prior recent medical attendance.
- Deaths occurring under suspicious circumstance, including those where alcohol, drugs or other toxic substances may have had a direct bearing on the outcome.
- Deaths occurring as a result of violence or trauma, whether apparently homicidal, suicidal or accidental (including, but not limited to, those due to mechanical, thermal, chemical, electrical or radiation injury, drowning, cave-ins and subsidence).
- Any death in which trauma, chemical injury, drug overdose or reaction to drugs or medication or medical treatment was a primary or secondary, direct or indirect, contributory, aggravating or precipitating cause of death.
- Operative or peri-operative deaths in which the death is not readily explainable on the basis of prior disease.
- Any death wherein the body is unidentifiable or unclaimed.
- Deaths known or suspected as due to contagious disease and constituting a public hazard.
- Deaths occurring in prison or a penal institution or while in the custody of the police.
- Deaths of persons whose bodies are to be cremated, buried at sea or otherwise disposed of so as to be thereafter unavailable for examination.
- Sudden infant death syndrome.
- Stillbirths - As part of the investigation, the Coroner shall determine the identity of the deceased and notify the next of kin of the deceased. Act of Aug. 9, 1955 (PL 323) Section 1237.
- How do I become a Coroner?
- The Coroner is an elected official. The Deputy Coroners are appointed by the Coroner.
- What are the education requirements for the Coroner?
- Once elected the coroner or appointed deputy coroner, you must past an exam given by the Pennsylvania Attorney General's Office after attending a one week school.
- How do I get a copy of a death certificate?
- If the death certificate is for a recent death and you are an immediate family member, you should contact the funeral home that handled the funeral arrangements to order more death certificates.
If the funeral home is unable to order additional death certificates at this time, you may contact
- How do I obtain a cremation release?
In 1992 the General Assembly of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania adopted an amendment to statute 1237, requiring all cremations in the State of Pennsylvania to be authorized by the Coroner or Medical Examiner in the County where the death occurred.
To obtain a cremation authorization in Cambria County, you (funeral home or crematory) must have the following:
1). A death certificate that is completed and signed by the person certifying the death.
2). A signed cremation release by the next of kin.
When both of the forms are completed, fax the information to (814)539-9057. If all the information is correct and there are no pending investigations into the death of the deceased, a cremation authorization will be faxed back to you.
As of March 2004, there is a fee of $25.00/release. The invoice is on the bottom portion of the cremation authorization.
*Remember: You must request a cremation authorization from the Coroner or Medical Examiner from the County in which the death occurred.