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Colorado funeral home owners apparently sought to cover up money problems by abandoning bodies

Return to Nature Funeral Home
Posted at 8:04 PM, Jan 17, 2024
and last updated 2024-01-17 22:05:43-05

DENVER (AP) — A judge says two Colorado funeral home owners apparently sought to cover up their financial difficulties by abandoning nearly 200 bodies that they had agreed to cremate or bury. The remains were instead stored in a neglected building, in many cases for years.

Judge William Moller's comments came Wednesday as he ruled the criminal case against Return to Nature funeral home co-owner Carie Hallford can go to trial. He cited evidence from prosecutors in deciding Carie can face trial on 260 counts of corpse abuse, money laundering, forgery and theft.

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Judge reduces bond for Return to Nature funeral home owner

Colette Bordelon
8:11 PM, Jan 04, 2024

Carie and her husband, Jon Hallford, are accused of mishandling the remains of nearly 200 bodies. An investigation into the funeral home began in early October after reports of a horrific odor coming from the building. The Hallfords were arrested in Oklahoma around a month later.

Jon Hallford was originally scheduled for a preliminary hearing on Jan. 4, but his defense counsel filed a motion to continue the preliminary hearing. Defense attorneys said they have more than 7,000 pages of documents to review and need more time before the preliminary hearing.

Return to Nature Funeral Home

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Arrest papers horrify families impacted by Return to Nature funeral home

Colette Bordelon
10:59 PM, Nov 08, 2023

Jon's preliminary hearing was pushed to February 8 at 1:30 p.m. His bond was also reduced from a $2 million cash-only bond to a $100,000 cash property or surety bond.

Denver7's Colette Bordelon and Sydney Isenberg contributed to this report.

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