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Relatives handed 'concrete' ashes from funeral home owners where 190 decomposing bodies were found

Gerrard Kaonga

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Relatives handed 'concrete' ashes from funeral home owners where 190 decomposing bodies were found

Featured Image Credit: WAGONER COUNTY SHERIFF / KRDO

Families have demanded justice after funeral home owners were arrested for a slew of charges relating to their mismanagement of the deceased.

Jon and Carie Hallford had their Return to Nature funeral home in Colorado Springs, Colorado, raided by police in October following multiple complaints from neighbors about a putrid smell coming from the area.

Investigators discovered that there were 190 decomposing bodies on the premises with some of the bodies decomposing in rooms, with fluids and insects lining the floors.

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The pair now face 250 charges of forgery, theft, money laundering, and abuse of a corpse.

After the discovery, police were determined to identify as many of the deceased as possible. The Fremont County Coroner, Randy Keller, detailed that the police were so far able to identify 110 of the bodies found at the estate, leaving 80 bodies still left to be identified.

Victims of the pair’s mismanagement of the bodies have spoken of their suspicions and frustrations when dealing with the couple.

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Lindsay Maher and her family used the pair’s services, that promised an eco-friendly cremation and a tree planting in the Colorado National Forest, and spoken of their outrage.

Jon and Carie Hallford had their Return to Nature funeral home in Colorado Springs raided by police in October. Credit: WAGONER COUNTY SHERIFF
Jon and Carie Hallford had their Return to Nature funeral home in Colorado Springs raided by police in October. Credit: WAGONER COUNTY SHERIFF

“To say my family is horrified and enraged is an understatement,” Lindsay Maher told the DailyMail as she explained her family used the service when her grandmother, Yong Anderson, died in the summer.

“My grandma’s last wishes were to be cremated and have her ashes spread in the ocean.

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“It turns out the ashes we received from Return 2 Nature was actually just concrete dust and my grandma’s body has been at the abandoned building this entire time just decaying next to 114 other bodies of 114 other unsuspecting families.

“They falsified my grandma's death certificate and handed my grieving family concrete dust.”

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Mother Crystina Page, who used the service following the death of her 20-year-old son, also spoke to local media about her rage.

“For four years, I've marched all over this country with this urn believing it to be my son,” she said.

Police were determined to identify as many of the deceased as possible. Credit: NBC News
Police were determined to identify as many of the deceased as possible. Credit: NBC News
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“My son has been laying there rotting for four years. It’s the most horrendous feeling I've ever had in my life.”

Some suspicious family members even took the ashes to a funeral director after suspecting the ashes were heavier than expected.

Despite being told by the couple the ashes were her brother, Tanya Wilson was told by a funeral director that he had never seen anything like that in the range of what cremated remains would typically look like.

The pair were arrested on November 8 and jailed on a bond of $2 million each.

Topics: News, US News

Gerrard Kaonga
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