FBI: Colorado Funeral Home Owners Abandoned 190 Bodies, Spent Money on Cars and Crypto

The married owners of a Colorado funeral home are facing 260 criminal charges after being accused of abandoning nearly 200 decaying bodies and spending their customers’ money on lavish vehicles and cryptocurrency.

Jon and Carie Hallford, owners of Return to Nature funeral home in Colorado Springs, horrified police when 190 bodies were discovered in rooms where “human decomposition fluids and insects lined the floors,” the Daily Mail reported.

Investigators said they found “abhorrent conditions” when they raided the property in October, following complaints from neighbors about a “dead animal smell.”

Relatives who paid the couple $1,290 for an eco-friendly cremation service and the promise of a tree planted in their loved one’s memory were, instead, allegedly given concrete dust rather than ashes. 

Thursday’s court proceedings detailed that FBI investigators found that the Hallfords allegedly used the money to buy two vehicles worth $120,000, as well as crypto and “lavish dinners,” according to the outlet.

The Hallfords are facing hundreds of charges involving forgery, theft, money laundering, and abuse of a corpse, though neither has entered a plea yet.

In addition to their funeral home, the couple also stored bodies in a building in the nearby rural town of Penrose, prosecutors said. 

After opening for business in 2017, it did not take long for the Hallfords’ company to encounter financial difficulties. By the time it was raided, the funeral home owed more than $120,000 in unpaid bills and had “repeatedly” been taken to court over unpaid wages and disputes with local medical centers, the Daily Mail reported.

During a previous hearing for Carie Hallford, prosecutors presented text messages that appeared to show the couple attempting to cover up their money problems by moving bodies to the Penrose site.

Angelika Stedman is heartbroken after hearing the news and still does not know what happened to the body of her 24-year-old daughter after she hired Return to Nature to cremate her. 

So far, her late daughter has not been identified amongst the decaying remains in the main funeral home or in the Penrose facility.

“They would have still had plenty of profit if they had done what they were supposed to do,” Stedman said after hearing court testimony.

Other relatives of loved ones placed in the Hallfords’ care say the couple shrugged off their suspicions.

When the family of U.S. Army veteran Tanya Wilson received her supposed ashes, her brother Elliot confronted Carie Hallford, stating that they seemed too heavy to be his sister’s remains.

Elliot took them to another funeral director, who reportedly told him that they had “never seen anything that looks like that in the range of what cremated remains would typically expect to look like.”

Two other families who allegedly received mock ashes mixed the dust with water and found that they solidified, like concrete would.

Samantha Naranjo discovered that her grandmother’s body had been left abandoned for more than a year.

“It’s unsettling,” she told KRDO in November, following the Hallfords’ arrests. “I can feel my grandmother’s pain and suffering. It’s unspeakable. How [can] you do this to people at their most vulnerable time?”

Jon Hallford was released from the El Paso County Jail in late January after posting a $100,000 bond, though Carie remains in custody, also on a $100,000 bond. Her arraignment is set for March 21.

source

Share :
comments

post a comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *