WSR 98-23-023


Cite as: AGO 1998 No. 11[October 28, 1998]

death - death certificates - offices and officers - counties - coroner - Authority to issue certificate of presumptive death.

The county coroner or equivalent officer has discretion to decide whether to issue a certificate of presumptive death as to a person whose body has not been found but who may be presumed to have drowned in the waters of the county or in contiguous waters as a result of an accident or natural disaster; the officer's decision must take into account where the person was last seen and where the events occurred which probably caused the person's death, in addition to such other factors as may be relevant.

The Honorable Randall K. Gaylord

San Juan County Prosecuting Attorney

350 Court Street

PO Box 760

Friday Harbor, WA 98250