Colorado Funeral Home Under Investigation After Improper Storage of Over 115 Bodies

In a shocking discovery, more than 115 bodies have been found “improperly” stored at a Colorado funeral home specializing in “green burials”. This disturbing incident came to light when authorities received a call about a foul odor emanating from The Return to Nature Funeral Home. While it remains uncertain if a crime has been committed, the FBI is currently investigating. Identifying the remains is expected to be a time-consuming process, taking months to complete.

Located in Penrose, Colorado, The Return to Nature Funeral Home offers eco-friendly burials where no chemicals, including embalming fluid, are used, and bodies are interred in biodegradable caskets. The funeral home’s owners have been cooperative with the investigation thus far, and the FBI, along with the Colorado Bureau of Investigation, is offering assistance to the local authorities.

During a press conference, Fremont County Sheriff Allen Cooper described the scene as “horrific”, with the air in the funeral home carrying a strong stench. In response to the gravity of the situation, Colorado Governor Jared Polis declared a local disaster emergency, ensuring that state resources are readily available for investigators.

Questions arose within the community, particularly among the families who had entrusted their loved ones to this funeral home. Sheriff Cooper emphasized that the families affected are their top priority and assured them that the investigation would be thorough.

“These are teams with additional training and specialized equipment that serve to process scenes of national magnitude, including the response to 9/11 and major airline incidents,” stated FBI Special Agent Mark Michalek when discussing the imminent arrival of additional investigators from Quantico, Virginia. The teams dispatched include a technical hazardous response team and a disaster recovery team, further emphasizing the seriousness of the situation.

Due to the nature of the investigation, which involves forensic identification techniques such as fingerprinting and DNA analysis, the process is expected to be lengthy. Fremont County Coroner Randy Keller warned that families will have to be patient as these procedures are carried out.

Once the identities of the bodies are confirmed, families will be notified. The county has set up an email address for family members who have used The Return to Nature Funeral Home in order to facilitate communication. Additionally, a family crisis center and phone line have been established to provide support and assistance during this difficult time.

The Return to Nature Funeral Home has yet to comment on the situation, and the BBC has reached out to them for further information.

This incident raises concerns about the proper regulation and oversight of funeral homes. Families considering eco-friendly burial options may now question the safety and professionalism of such facilities. It is crucial for authorities to ensure that strict protocols are in place to prevent a recurrence of similar incidents, and for funeral homes to be transparent and accountable to the families they serve.

The impact of this news reaches far beyond the local community, as it raises awareness about the importance of choosing reputable funeral homes and highlights the need for comprehensive regulations in the industry. Families around the country may find themselves reevaluating their choices and seeking assurances from funeral homes regarding their practices and procedures.

In conclusion, the improper storage of over 115 bodies at The Return to Nature Funeral Home has shocked the community and sparked a thorough investigation by law enforcement agencies. The impact of this incident extends beyond the local area, as it prompts discussions about the need for better regulation and transparency within the funeral home industry. Families affected are urged to reach out to the authorities and find solace in the support services being offered. This devastating situation serves as a reminder of the importance of conducting due diligence when selecting a funeral home, especially when considering eco-friendly burial options.