Police found 115 bodies at Colorado ‘green’ funeral home while investigating putrid smells

Fremont County, Colo., coroner Randy Keller, second from left, meets with fellow authorities outside a closed funeral home where 115 bodies have been stored, Friday, Oct. 6, 2023, in Penrose, Colo. Authorities are investigating the improper storage of human remains at the southern Colorado funeral home that performs "green" burials without embalming chemicals or metal caskets. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)

CAÑON CITY, Colo. — The awful smell seeped from a neglected building in a small Colorado town for days, followed by a report that made police take a closer look at the “green” funeral operator’s storage facility. Inside, they made a gruesome discovery: At least 115 decaying bodies.

Investigators were tight-lipped Friday about exactly what they found inside the Return to Nature Funeral Home in Penrose, Colorado, but their plans to bring in teams that usually deal with airline crashes, coroners from nearby jurisdictions and the FBI pointed to a grim mess.

A state document, meanwhile, alleged funeral home owner Jon Hallford tried to conceal the improper storage of corpses. He claimed he was doing taxidermy at the facility, according to the state suspension letter dated Thursday.

No one had been arrested or charged. Text messages to the funeral home seeking comment went unanswered. No one at the business picked up the phone and there was no working voicemail.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

*

By participating in online discussions you acknowledge that you have agreed to the Star-Advertiser's TERMS OF SERVICE. An insightful discussion of ideas and viewpoints is encouraged, but comments must be civil and in good taste, with no personal attacks. If your comments are inappropriate, you may be banned from posting. To report comments that you believe do not follow our guidelines, email hawaiiwarriorworld@staradvertiser.com.