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Historical Perspectives

The Jefferson County Coroner’s Office was first established in 1780. By Kentucky statutes the Coroner’s Office was mandated to determine the cause and manner of deaths in legally proscribed “coroner’s cases.” The Jefferson County Coroner’s Office has been in constant operation since that time.

For the last thirty six years, the Jefferson County coroners had been physicians. The previous coroner Dr. Richard Greathouse, a pediatrician served, for twenty eight years, until Dr. Ronald Holmes took office in January of 2003. Dr. Holmes was a criminologist and a professor of criminal justice at University of Louisville. 

Dr Barbara Weakley-Jones returns the office back to the physicians expertise.  She is a retired KY State Medical examiner who practiced forensic Pathology for 29yrs performing autopies to help determine the cause and manner of death, before being appointed and then elected to the Jefferson County Coroner position in 2009-2010.  Most of the cases that we see are related to natural deaths, so medical knowledge is imperative in this office along with good forensic experience.
She also teaches and trains human remains detection dogs to find human remains.  She personally has 3 HRD dogs that have been incorporated in the coroner's office to provide certified dogs when needed in Jefferson County and throughout the state to help find the missing.