Washington State

Office of the Attorney General

Attorney General

Bob Ferguson

AGO 1998 NO. 11 > Oct 28 1998

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.

AGO 1953 NO. 65 > Jun 4 1953

1. Where death occurs without medical attendance and circumstances suggest that the death or still-birth [[stillbirth]]was caused by unlawful or unnatural causes, the coroner, or if there is no coroner, the prosecuting attorney should sign the death certificate. 2. Where death occurs without medical attendance and there is no suspicion of death from unlawful or unnatural causes, either the local health officer, his deputy, or the coroner; or if there is no health officer and no coroner, then the prosecuting attorney should sign the certificate.