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Police discover 115 bodies in 'green' funeral home in Colorado after reports of sickening stench in the area
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Police discover 115 bodies in 'green' funeral home in Colorado after reports of sickening stench in the area

A putrid stench had reportedly emanated from a building in a small town in Colorado for a number of days. When the authorities decided to take a closer look at the "green" funeral operator's storage facility, they made a horrific discovery.

Investigators were slow to reveal what they had discovered inside the Return to Nature Funeral Home in Penrose, Colorado. It appears that the authorities found a total of 115 decaying bodies within the facility, according to the Associated Press.

The report noted that the investigators who usually deal with airline crashes, a number of coroners, and the FBI eventually got involved in the case.

The man in charge of the facility, Jon Hallford, apparently tried to hide the improper storage of corpses, adding that he was doing taxidermy at the facility. However, CP24 reported that Hallford had apparently performed green burials without using embalming chemicals or metal caskets.

Hallford conceded that there was a "problem" on the property. Though the Colorado Office of Funeral Home and Crematory Registration letter did not mention the alleged taxidermy or improper storage of dead bodies, it did mention that Hallford's facility's registration had been out of date since November 2022.

There were no arrests in the discovery, and no one has yet been charged. Officials at the funeral home were cooperating with the investigation to determine if there was any wrongdoing in the case, according to Fremont County Sheriff Allen Cooper.

Fremont County Coroner Randy Keller claimed that it would require fingerprints, dental records, medical records, and DNA tests in order to identify the bodies. He went on to say that the process could take a number of months.

The bodies were kept inside a 2,500-square-foot facility that appeared as a one-story home. The company responsible for the burials charged $1,895 for a "natural burial," which would come without all the trimmings of a typical burial, according to the Jamaica Observer.

Colorado law allows for green burials, but if the bodies are not buried with a 24-hour period, they are required to be properly refrigerated.

One woman, Mary Simons, 47, reportedly lost her husband Darrell Simons after his fight with lung cancer back in August. She hired Return to Nature Funeral Home to carry out a cremation, but the ashes of her husband never arrived. Now, she wonders if her husband was one of the deceased discovered in the facility.

“Suddenly it’s like ‘oh my God’, I’ve lost him all over again,” Simons said. “It’s like the grieving process is starting all over again.”

No bodies in the case have yet been identified.

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