The Deer Lodge County Coroner’s Office extends its deepest sympathy to all the family members and friends at the difficult time following the death of a loved one. The processing of scene provides the factual information needs to determine what occurred. In many cases, evidence obtained at the scene may be critical to the outcome of investigations.

As part of any death investigation, information must be gathered. This includes asking questions which may be painful and upsetting to family members and friends. It may also include collecting a variety of evidentiary items. As pain full and upsetting as these questions and procedures may be, please keep in mind they are necessary and required in a death investigation.

If there is something the Coroner’s Office can do for you to minimize the pain of this process, such as call a friend, clergy, or family member, please let us know.

I assure you, your loved one will be treated with the utmost respect and dignity. My office and staff are committed to serving the community as an advocate for the deceased and their families in this time of need and sorrow.

Gerald M. Thomas

A-DLC Courthouse

800 Main St.

Anaconda, MT 59711

Old County Jailhouse

(406) 563 – 5109

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The County Coroner strives to:

provide accurate, quality, cost-effective determinations of the manner and cause of death in order to provide information needed for statistical and investigative purposes for federal, state, local, and private individuals and agencies;
apply the principles of continuous quality improvement in the performance of our delegated duties to the citizens of Deer Lodge County and the State of Montana; and
work in a productive way with all agencies.

The duties of the County Coroner include:

  • pronouncing death and determining time of death;
  • documenting the scene of death and performing interviews to determine medical and social circumstances;
  • skillfully removing the deceased from the scene, taking care not to disturb evidence;
  • positively identifying the deceased with aid of dental records, fingerprints, and X-rays;
  • identifying the next of kin and notifying family members in a respectful and sensitive manner;
  • preparing death certificates;
  • providing conclusive information and records to family members, law enforcement, the County Attorney, and other individuals/agencies requiring information;
  • testifying objectively in legal matters; and
  • conducting medical legal investigations.
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Gerald M. Thomas
Gerald M. ThomasCounty Coroner
Mr. Thomas was appointed as the County Coroner in 2007 after serving as the Deputy Coroner for eight years. He is a current member of the Montana Coroner’s Association. Mr. Thomas retired from the military after 38 years of service. He also served as a Sheriff’s Deputy for 7 years, and with Emergency Medical Services for 35 years.
Jessie Billquist-Jette
Jessie Billquist-JetteDeputy Coroner
Jessie Billquist-Jette

Jessie Billquist-Jette, holds a Master’s Degree in Physical Therapy from the University of Montana and a Bachelor’s Degree in Occupational Safety and Health – Applied Health Option from Montana Tech. She has extended studies training from Chico State California, the University of Montana – Western, and the University of North Dakota. She has worked in the medical field as a Pediatric Physical Therapist since. Jessie is also a faculty member at Montana Tech. She joined the Anaconda Deer Lodge County Coroner’s Department in 2011. Jessie is a member of the Montana Coroner’s Association and the International Association of Coroners and Medical Examiners. She is proud to have been born and raised in Anaconda, MT.