Statistics

Overview

More than 50% of all deaths in Sacramento County are reportable Coroner's Office cases as required by the Government Code and Health and Safety Code.

All reported cases involve a Deputy Coroner investigative component and approximately 20% require an autopsy, external body review, or medical record evaluation by the Coroner's Office to determine the cause of death.

There are five classifications for the manner of death in Coroner cases:

Accident

Accidental death including drowning, accidental overdose, falls, motor vehicle accidents, etc.

Natural

Any natural disease process including, but not limited to, heart disease, SIDS, chronic ethanol abuse, etc.

Suicide

Action taken by someone to end their own life. It must be an overt action versus a habitual action.

Homicide

When a person is killed by one or more persons. This is different than "murder". Murder is the "unlawful" taking of a human life by another. For example, if a police officer kills someone in the line of duty, it is a homicide but it is not necessarily a murder. All murders are homicides, but all homicides are not murders.

Undetermined

Usually an interim classification, indicating a level of uncertainty about the circumstances surrounding a death, which is usually changed once the results of the autopsy are received. Sometimes, however, the cause of death and/or the circumstances of the death cannot be fully determined, in which case, the classification remains undetermined.

Grand Totals

Coroner Cases by Manner of Death 1998-2009

Year Accident Homicide Natural Suicide Undetermined Total
Totals 4643 994 6351 1582 768 14,338
1998 357 86 608 128 80 1259
1999 337 87 614 144 58 1240
2000 375 84 603 134 79 1275
2001 431 95 631 153 124 1434
2002 441 92 625 166 72 1396
2003 468 98 738 168 74 1546
2004 535 111 640 174 64 1524
2005 569 123 642 176 78 1588
2006 572 120 674 173 77 1616
2007 558 100 577 166 64 1465
2008 546 108 590 188 98 1530
2009 542 75 473 151 46 *1392
* 105 cases are still pending for 2009 as of 3/26/2010