Laura G. Kneece
550 Wilson Road Newberry, SC 29108

General Information

The Office of the Newberry County Coroner investigates all suspicious and violent deaths, as well as any death occurring outside of a hospital or nursing home within Newbery County. In addition, any death occurring less than 24-hours after a patient is admitted to a Newberry County Memorial Hospital and all emergency room deaths must be investigated. The Office of the Coroner is responsible to see that relatives and loved ones are notified of the death. When at all possible, these notifications are made in person.

The position of Coroner is established by Constitutional law to serve the people of a respective county. The Newberry County Coroner is the Chief Investigating Officer for all deaths requiring an investigation and must work closely with all Law Enforcement Agencies. When multiple investigating agencies are involved, the Coroner serves to coordinate the investigating efforts. The Coroner is responsible for insuring that all evidence at a death scene is properly preserved and that the personal belongings of the deceased are safeguarded and returned to the families.

It is the sole responsibility and lawful duty of the Coroner to determine the manner of death of every person who dies in Newberry County, or dies from injuries that occurred in Newberry County. The Coroner retains the assistance of experts from various fields.

The pathologist or physician consulting with the Coroner determines the cause of death. The Coroner must determine through investigation whether the death was natural, accidental, homicidal, suicidal or of undetermined cause(s). Experts from anthropology, toxicology, odontology, entomology, photography, trace evidence collection and other forensic specialties may assist in the determination of the cause of death. The Coroner and the Solicitor are totally responsible for determining when an autopsy is performed.

Mission of Newberry County Coroner’s Office:

To serve the citizens of Newberry County with professionalism and integrity, while upholding our commitment to determine the cause and manner of death in a dignified manner and maintaining respect for the families.

Duties of the Coroner:

  • The standard role of a coroner is to confirm and certify the death of an individual within their jurisdiction. By determining the cause and manner of death.
  • The Coroner can also order an autopsy to determine a person’s cause of death as well as assist investigating agencies with evidence preservation and documentation. SC Section 17-7-10
  • A coroner may also conduct or order an inquest into the manner or cause of death. SC Section 17-7-70-650
  • Investigate or confirm the identity of an unknown person who has been found dead within the jurisdiction of the county in which the serve.
  • Issue Cremation Permits to Funeral Homes and Crematories. SC Section 17-5-600