PENROSE, Colo. — The southern Colorado funeral home that allegedly housed 190 improperly stored bodies will be demolished, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced Wednesday.
Following an assessment of the Return to Nature Funeral Home on Nov. 15, investigators determined that "demolition of the building is necessary to safely remove biological and hazardous materials found in the building."
Arrest papers horrify families impacted by Return to Nature funeral home
In early October, neighbors reported a foul odor near the Penrose funeral home, located 33 miles south of Colorado Springs. Investigators entered the 2,500-square-foot building on Oct. 4 and made the "horrific" discovery.
Authorities initially said 115 bodies were allegedly improperly stored in the funeral home. In an update, Fremont County officials said at least 189 bodies were removed from the funeral home and transported to the El Paso County Sheriff's Office.
The owner of the funeral home and his wife were arrested in Wagoner, Oklahoma, in early November. Jon and Carie Hallford face more than 250 felony charges, including 190 counts of abuse of a corpse and 50 counts of forgery.
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The EPA plans to demolish the building in January 2024. It is currently in the process of developing a workplan that includes a timeframe and safety measures.