313.08 Coroner custodian of morgue - duties where decedent not identified.

(A) In counties in which a county morgue is maintained, the coroner shall be the official custodian of the morgue.

In all cases of the finding of the body or remains of a deceased person within a county in which a county morgue is maintained, when the identity of the deceased person is unknown, or the deceased person's relatives or other persons entitled to the custody of the body or remains of the deceased person are unknown or not present, the body or remains shall be removed to the county morgue, where it shall be held for identification and disposal.

(B) The coroner shall make a reasonable attempt to promptly identify the body or remains of a deceased person. The coroner may use any means available in attempting to identify the body or remains.

(C) If the coroner is unable to identify the body or remains of a deceased person within thirty days after the body or remains of the deceased person are delivered to the coroner, the coroner shall notify the bureau of criminal identification and investigation that the body or remains are located in the county morgue or are in the custody of the coroner and forward a DNA specimen from the body or remains of the deceased person to the bureau.

(D) If a body or remains are discovered and delivered to the coroner and the coroner is unable to determine whether or not the body or remains that are discovered are the body or remains of a deceased person, the coroner shall notify the bureau of criminal identification and investigation of the existence of a possible body or remains of a deceased person and forward a DNA specimen from the body or remains to the bureau.

(E) If the body or remains of a deceased person are not identified, in addition to providing the notice required under division (C) of this section, a coroner shall do all of the following prior to disposing of the body or remains:

(1) Take the fingerprints of the body or remains of the deceased person, or cause the same to be taken, according to the fingerprint system of identification on the forms furnished by the superintendent of the bureau of criminal identification and investigation;

(2) Take or cause to be taken one or more photographs of the body or remains of the deceased person;

(3) Collect in a medically approved manner a DNA specimen from the body or remains of the deceased person;

(4) Promptly cause the fingerprints, the photographs, and the DNA specimen to be forwarded to the bureau of criminal identification and investigation for inclusion in the unidentified person database in accordance with procedures established by the superintendent of the bureau under division (H) of section 109.573 of the Revised Code.

(F) The bureau of criminal identification and investigation shall cause the fingerprints, the photographs, and the DNA specimen forwarded by the coroner to the bureau pursuant to division (E)(4) of this section to be forwarded to the national crime information center and the national DNA index system within ten days after the bureau completes the DNA analysis of the forwarded DNA specimen.

(G) The bureau shall provide the fingerprint forms, specimen vials, mailing tubes, labels, postage, and instruction needed for the collection and forwarding to the bureau pursuant to division (E)(4) of this section of the fingerprints and the DNA specimen and for the forwarding pursuant to division (E)(4) of this section to the bureau of the photographs.

(H) Upon the request of a coroner who has the duty to take, or cause the taking of, fingerprints and photographs under divisions (E)(1) and (2) of this section, the bureau of criminal identification and investigation shall take, or assist in the taking of, the required fingerprints and photographs.

(I) As used in this section, "DNA analysis," "DNA specimen," and "unidentified person database" have the same meanings as in section 109.573 of the Revised Code.

Effective Date: 05-21-1998; 05-18-2005; 08-17-2006; 04-05-2007