What does the Ada County Coroner do?

“I am blessed with the honor of speaking for our deceased.” – Dotti

Day to Day 

Determines cause and manner of death on all unattended, suspicious and non-natural deaths per Idaho State Statute.

Reviews and responds to stillbirths per Idaho State Statute.

Responds to calls 24/7  from Investigators in need of assistance on cases.

Reviews and works on daily caseload for determination of cause and manner.

Specialized in Medicolegal Death Investigation; scene and body inspection, and forensic photography.

Specialized in Infant Death Investigation.

Collection and preservation of evidence.

Notification of death to legal next of kin.

Interview family and witnesses.

Preservation of personal property and working with county Public Administration/Indigent departments.



Coroner Dotti Owens
Coroner Dotti Owens in the Office

Operational Responsibilities

Dotti has many duties within the operational aspect of the office. In addition to the budget, she also manages the “Out of County” aspect of this Regional Forensic Facility. Dotti works with all the county coroners that she is contracted with to ensure that the requirements of contracts are completed. Additionally, Dotti is knowledgeable in grant application and management, maintains the Morris Hill facility, is involved in the day-to-day work on the new construction project, and is hands-on within the HR aspect of her office.

Manages a staff of 31, including three full-time Forensic Pathologists.

Development and maintenance of a personnel budget $3,739,969.00 and an operations budget of $610,514.00

Progressed into a full regional facility, with 31 county contracts which provides a line of revenue to offset taxpayer burden.

Maintain daily operational standards at a quality that allows us to continue to be accredited, therefore eligible for grants.

Apply for and maintain Federal and State grants to offset taxpayer burden (due to accreditation status).

Review accounts payable and receivable and approves for payment. Equipment maintenaince and replacement.

Human Bones - Forensic Testing

 Medicolegal Knowledge 

Medical- Dotti confers with the ACCO Forensic Pathologists in regards to cases, with discussions pertaining to cause and manner of death. She reviews medical records, mental health records, and the State Board of Pharmacy for cases that fall within the jurisdictional boundaries. She also  reviews and signs Death Certificates; reviews bad Death Certificates sent over from Vital Statistics and conducts medical record review cases. In addition, Dotti reviews and approves toxicology testing for the office.

Death Investigation

RESPOND FOR SERVICE; Dotti responds to calls 24/7 as needed and is often working hand in hand with Sr. Deputies and Supervisors as issues arise. 

TRAINING; She is very proactive with training and has developed an investigator training program now used by the FTOs, Supervisors, and the State Coroner Association.

INVESTIGATION: Dotti  has been nationaly certified as a Medicolegal Deth Investigator since 2011. She is specialized in fire and infant fatality investigation. She has led the office to a new level of professionalism and is proud to work with her team.

NEXT OF KIN NOTIFICATION: Dotti is also proficient in next of kin notification. She had developed an extensive training program for the sensitive task of notifying legal next of kin of deaths that have occurred within her jurisdiction. She has developed a family resource packet that is utilized day to day and assists families in maneuvering through the disposition process.

Dotti leads the state in death investigations, anthropological investigations, and psychological autopsies.


Committees & Boards

Dotti holds positions on many boards and committees throughout the State of Idaho as well as Nationally. The time spent with these organizations is imperative to county government, especially those within the Coroner/Medical Examiner field. 

These organizations that she is active in, advocate for state and federal funding along with medicolegal death investigation standards. Additionally, suicide prevention and overdose prevention are at the forefront of these organizations, allocating grant funding for efforts.

Coroner Dotti Owens keynote
Ada County Opioid Summit Speaker Panel

Leading with Compassion, Professionalism, and Experience.  Q&A with Dotti Owens.

Realize that this position is a matter of life and death, working for the living, by serving the deceased. Our staff are NOT "Worker Bee's" but are compassionate, professional, and knowledgable within their specialty. Please, do your homework.

Looking for volunteers!

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