Owners of Colorado funeral home that improperly stored bodies to appear in court

Dec. 5 (UPI) -- The owners of a Colorado funeral home where 190 decomposing bodies were found are set to appear in court on Tuesday.

Authorities arrested Return to Nature funeral home owners Jon and Carie Hallford in November in Oklahoma and extradited back to Colorado where they are set to appear in court Tuesday afternoon.


Both owners were charged with 190 counts of abuse of a corpse. John Hallford also faces 61 counts of forgery and four counts of money laundering, while Carie Hallford was charged with felony charges including theft, money laundering and forgery.

The court appearance comes after the Environmental Protection Agency announced on Monday that it will tear down the funeral home.

"Following the assessment, EPA has determined that demolition of the building is necessary to safely remove biological and hazardous materials found in the building," the EPA said in a statement.

"The EPA is in the process of developing a work plan to conduct the demolition in January 2024. Details of the demolition process, safety measures, and timeframe will be shared publicly once procedures are finalized."


The Fremont County Sheriff's Office started an investigation into the Return to Nature Funeral Home in Penrose, Colo., two months ago where they found 190 "improperly stored" bodies on the premises.

Sheriff investigators said the dozens of body remains were improperly stored inside the 2,500-square-foot business that offered what it called "environmentally friendly" burials to Colorado residents, which is legal under state law.

According to a federal complaint filed against the funeral home, owners had reported many of the bodies found at the home as being either buried or cremated, with families being given items that were purported to be remains.

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