A Colorado funeral home owner and his wife were arrested in Oklahoma following an investigation that uncovered nearly 200 decaying bodies.
District Attorney Michael Allen has charged Jon and Carrie Hallford with numerous felonies, including abuse of a corpse, theft, money laundering and forgery.
The Fremont County Sheriff's Office began investigating Return to Nature Funeral Home in Penrose, Colorado, in October after getting a report of a foul odor coming from the facility.
"FCSO received a state warrant to search the premises, where they discovered improperly stored bodies," Allen said in a statement.
Investigators are reportedly in the process of identifying the bodies. In the meantime, Allen is requesting for people who did business with the funeral home between Sept. 2019 and Sept. 2023 to complete a victim information questionnaire.
The Fremont County Coroner's Office plans to begin family notifications over the next several days.
“We are conducting extensive coordination efforts as we focus on the identification of the decedents and provide notifications to ensure the families are given accurate information to prevent further victimization as they continue to grieve their loved ones,” Fremont County Coroner Randy Keller told Scripps News Colorado Springs.
The Associated Press reports that Return to Nature Funeral Home offered cremations and "green" burials, meaning no embalming fluids were used.
Allen said the Hallfords will be arraigned after they are extradited from Oklahoma to Colorado.
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