The Coroner or Senior Deputy Coroner, along with an on-call deputy coroner are on duty 24/7/365. The Coroner’s Office is contracted with (2) board certified forensic pathologists who assist in performing autopsies or consulting on Coroner cases that do not require an autopsy.
The administrative office is located at 1700 Continental Place in Mount Vernon, WA. The Skagit County Morgue and autopsy suite are located at the Skagit Valley Hospital. This space is shared with the hospital.
The Skagit County Coroner’s Office staff are involved in a variety of activities in order to fulfill the required state statutes involving this office. These include responding to and investigating various death scenes, performing postmortem examinations, confirming identification, certifying the cause and manner of death, and providing information and assistance to families. Deputy Coroner’s as well as the Coroner and Senior Deputy Coroner work to communicate directly with the families which includes reviewing the findings and answering the many questions that accompany a sudden or traumatic loss of life.
Mission and Goals of the Skagit County Coroner’s Office
The Skagit County Coroner’s Office is an independent agency who serves the residents of Skagit County by investigating the facts and circumstances concerning the deaths of those who have died suddenly, violently, or unexpectedly while in apparent good health within the geographic boundaries of the county. The goal of this office is to serve the citizens of Skagit County with the highest degree of compassion, professionalism, and integrity regarding those who have died within Skagit County.
To achieve this mission, the Skagit County Coroner’s Office will:
- Treat decedents and their property with dignity and respect and without discrimination.
- Conduct investigations and autopsies professionally, scientifically, and conscientiously.
- Research and implement new procedures to better investigate death scenes.
- Promote and maintain adequate staffing levels in order to provide all mandated services.
- Promote and maintain an emotionally and physically healthy and safe working environment for all staff.
- Promote and provide adequate equipment, training, and support to all staff.
- Provide assistance, training, and education to all agencies requesting our services.
- Provide a statistical annual report of deaths within the county.
- Prepare and plan for mass casualty incidents.
- Provide for disposition of unclaimed, indigent citizens in accordance with RCW 36.39.030.
- Strive to increase proficiency and professionalism of all staff members through training.
The Skagit County Coroner’s Office was established in 1884. The first documented Coroner was J.A Gilliland on January 8, 1884.
1884-1885 J.S. Church
1886-1889 James Vercoe
1890-1891 Dr. Tozier
1892-1895 W.B. Dunbar
1896-1897 J.L. Hutchison
1898-1899 James Vercoe
1900-1903 B.R. Sumner
1904-1906 J.C. Leplant
1907-1908 G.L. Wainwright
1909-1912 Rufus J. Cassel
1913-1918 Arthur F. Baker
1919-1922 Aaron Light
1923-1946 H.D. Dunham
1947-1970 Aaron Light
1971-1977 Ilo Sande
1978-1993 Frank Kendall
1994-2006 Bruce Bacon
2007-April 1, 2016 Daniel Dempsey
May 16, 2016-current Hayley L. Thompson