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The coroner is a medical doctor who is responsible for investigating sudden or suspicious deaths or where the cause of death is unknown. In Prince Edward Island, there are two coroners in Kings County, three coroners in Queens County and three coroners in Prince County who are involved with sudden death investigation. The chief coroner resides in Queens County and is responsible for overseeing Coroners Act death investigations in the province. The coroners report to the chief coroner and the Department of Justice and Public Safety.

In cases where the coroner is satisfied after the initial investigation, the death certificate is signed and the body is released to a funeral director for burial. Sometimes the coroner will order an autopsy to provide more information about the cause of death. Following the autopsy, the body will be released for burial.

If the coroner has more questions about how a death happened, or if some aspects of how the death occurred need to be made public, the coroner may order an inquest.  An inquest is a formal process involving witnesses and a jury which reaches a verdict and may make recommendations to prevent similar deaths from happening in future.

Frequently asked questions about inquests

Campbell Hennessey Inquest Findings

The Inquest Jury has made recommendations to strengthen our system, Premier MacLauchlan states: “Our government agrees with the recommendations which focus on the need for better sharing of information and greater collaboration across government and agencies working with high-risk families.”

With thanks to the jury for a difficult task, “this work will be undertaken collaboratively across government departments and agencies. A group of deputy ministers has been tasked to lead this important work and report back on how we can best achieve these changes.”


Chief Coroner, Dr. Desmond Colohan

  • Deputy Coroner, Dr. Charles Trainor 
  • Kings/Queens County Coroner, Dr. Terry Magennis 
  • Queens County Coroner, Dr. Kenneth Cody 
  • Queens County Coroner, Dr. William Scantlebury 
  • Prince County Coroner, Dr. Cyril Moyse 
  • Inquest Coroner, Dr. Roy Montgomery 

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