NewsState News


Disposal site finalized for Return to Nature Funeral Home cleanup

Posted at 9:40 AM, Mar 29, 2024
and last updated 2024-03-29 11:41:58-04

PENROSE, Colo. — A dump site has been finalized for the contaminated materials at the Return to Nature Funeral Home site in Penrose, Colorado.

An agreement between the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Fremont County, and Otero County asw reached, Fremont County Commissioners announced in a press release on Thursday.

The Otero County landfill has been selected as the dump site, according to the commissioners.

“We are grateful to our partners in Otero County for accepting this material,” Kevin Grantham, Fremont County Commissioner and Chairman of the Fremont County Board of Public Health and Environment, said. “Unfortunately, we were unable to come to a disposal agreement with either Pueblo County or the Twin Enviro landfill here in Fremont County."

The Fremont County Commissioners Office expects the demolition and removal to take approximately 10 days. The EPA says crews will be on site from the week of April 8 and demolition is scheduled to begin on April 16.

The on-site preparations will consist of the EPA’s contractors spraying a disinfectant and odor suppressant into the interior of the building, along with staging areas for loading trucks with demolition materials next to the building.

This comes after the original timeline for the demolition was set for January.

The Return to Nature Funeral home was the site where 191 bodies were found improperly stored along the side of Highway 115 in Penrose.

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.

Disposal site finalized for Return to Nature Funeral Home cleanup