Colorado Funeral Home Scandal: FBI Discovers Stacks of Bodies, Fluids, and Flies

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In a disturbing revelation, investigators entering a Colorado funeral home found themselves faced with an appalling scene of neglect and malpractice. 

The facility, operated by Carie and Jon Hallford, was discovered to house nearly 200 abandoned bodies, with stacks of partially covered human remains, bodily fluids several inches deep on the floor, and a pervasive infestation of flies and maggots throughout the building.

FBI agent Andrew Cohen, testifying during a hearing for one of the co-owners, described the grim discoveries. Among the bodies were 23 with death dates from 2019 and 61 from 2020, spanning adults, infants, and fetuses. 

The remains, stored at room temperature in the small town of Penrose, presented a haunting tableau of neglect.

The investigation further revealed the presence of animal remains and bags of packaged concrete, suggesting a disturbing disregard for proper procedures. Prosecutors allege that some relatives received fake ashes instead of the cremated remains of their loved ones.

Bodies Uncovered in Colorado

colorado-funeral-home-scandal-fbi-discovers-stacks-of-bodies-fluids-and-flies
In a disturbing revelation, investigators entering a Colorado funeral home found themselves faced with an appalling scene of neglect and malpractice.

Carie and Jon Hallford, who were arrested in Oklahoma in November after fleeing Colorado, face charges including abuse of a corpse, theft, money laundering, and forgery. 

Following a foul stench detected by nearby residents, the bodies were discovered in Colorado in early October, leading to a disturbing chain of allegations against the funeral home owners.

Efforts to identify the bodies using fingerprints, dental records, medical hardware, and DNA are ongoing, with several dozen sets of remains yet to be identified. Plans are in place to demolish the building where the bodies were found.

The Hallfords’ funeral home, Return to Nature, started in 2017, offering cremations and “green” burials without embalming fluids. 

However, the company was beset by financial difficulties, including unpaid bill litigation, delayed tax payments, and property evictions. The town struggles with the shocking disclosures as the Colorado legal proceedings progress, and the relatives of the victims want justice and closure for their mistreated loved ones. 

The tragic saga serves as a stark reminder of the importance of oversight and regulation in the funeral industry.

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