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Demolition of the Return to Nature Funeral Home in Penrose complete

Posted at 3:57 PM, Apr 22, 2024
and last updated 2024-04-23 07:40:01-04

PENROSE, Colo. — Demolition of the Return to Nature Funeral Home in Penrose is now complete, according to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

The EPA says demolition was completed on Saturday, and the foundation was disinfected, demolished and taken to the Otero County Landfill.

The foundation has been replaced with clean soil. The demolition began Tuesday.

KOAA News5 has a full timeline of the developing events of the Return to Nature Funeral Home.

Background Information

Return to Nature Funeral Home came under a multi-agency investigation in October following reports of a complaint about a foul odor in the area. Investigators said they found more than 180 bodies in various states of decomposition inside the building that were not properly stored. The two were arrested in Oklahoma in November of 2023.

In what was a multi-agency clean-up effort, coroner offices and the Colorado Bureau of Investigation worked tirelessly for a couple of weeks to remove the bodies from the building before the identification process could begin.

It was not until early November that the owners of the Return to Nature Funeral Home were arrested in Oklahoma. Jon and Carie Hallford were moved to El Paso County by late November where both appeared in court and had cash bonds set at $2 million.

Demolition begins on funeral home where 190 bodies were found