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The mission of the Montrose County Coroner’s Office of Medical Investigations is to provide the citizens of Montrose with continuous, competent, and compassionate service, in addition to disaster preparation, in a fiscally responsible manner. Citizens who may have family members fall as victims of a sudden incident, unattended, violent or suspicious death are provided the best death investigations available in order to present a correct and appropriate cause and manner of death as well as personal family support following the loss of a loved one.
It is therefore the duty and responsibility of the Montrose County Coroner’s Office of Medical Investigations to conduct a comprehensive investigation making all proper inquiries of all deaths falling under the statutory authority of that office. The main function of the Montrose County Coroner’s Office of Medical Investigations is to determine the cause and manner for each death investigated and to treat each death investigation with respect, dignity, and kindness. While the sudden death of a loved one is a difficult and emotional time, the Montrose County Coroner’s Office of Medical Investigations will strive to assist family members with any concerns or questions and to aid them with the grieving process in a timely, professional and courteous manner. Our regular office hours are Monday – Friday 8 a.m. to 12 noon, excluding legal holidays. The coroner and/or a deputy coroner are on duty for death investigations and emergencies 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
A Letter from Rick Fellabaum
Hello Montrose County Citizens,
Thank you very much for electing me as your Coroner for Montrose County.
A little about me. I was born here at Montrose Memorial Hospital, as my parents were living in Naturita at the time. Within one year they moved back to Cripple Creek and Victor where they were originally from. In first grade we moved to Cortez and in fourth grade we moved to Long Beach, CA. for my Dad to work in the oil fields.
In 1971 my girlfriend (my wife of 50 years now) and I joined the US Air Force, attending basic training at Lackland AFB in San Antonio, TX. Then both of us off to training schools at Lowry AFB in Aurora, CO. From there we were stationed at Offutt AFB Omaha, NE for the extent of our 4 years. The first two years I had an above top-secret clearance which allowed me to process the film from the SR-71 that flew over Vietnam and surrounding countries. The second two years I was a Medic.
Upon both of our Honorable Discharges we moved to Bakersfield, CA where I did 28 years in Law Enforcement (26 with Kern County Sheriff’s Office). I was an EMT for 4 years as a Deputy Sheriff also.
In 2006 I retired from the Sheriff’s Office and moved back home to Montrose.
In 2008 I was asked to join the Coroner’s Office. I promoted to Asst. Chief Investigator, Chief Investigator, and then Chief Deputy.
Upon Dr. Canfield’s retirement in June 2022 I was appointed as the Coroner by the County Commissioners.
In Nov. 8, 2022 I was elected for a 4 year term and sworn in Jan 10, 2023.