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A family has filed a lawsuit against the Colorado funeral home, Return to Nature Funeral Home, where 189 decaying bodies were discovered, alleging that the owners allowed their loved ones’ remains to decay while providing fake ashes to grieving families.
The lawsuit, filed on Monday, accuses the Return to Nature Funeral Home and its owners, Jon and Carie Hallford, of intentionally causing emotional distress, negligence, fraud, and violating Colorado laws.
The disturbing find was made in October after reports of a foul odour emanating from the funeral home, located approximately 100 miles south of Denver.
Law enforcement officials are in the process of identifying the remains and notifying families, some of whom received what were allegedly fake ashes years after their loved ones were purportedly cremated.
The lawsuit highlights the violation of trust, claiming that the deceased deserved respect and dignity in death but was instead treated with disregard.
CNN had earlier reported that the funeral home might have falsified cremation records and provided families with fraudulent ashes. The lawsuit was brought by Richard Law on behalf of other families, alleging that Return to Nature Funeral Home allowed his father’s remains, sent there in 2020 after he died from COVID-19, to decay for nearly three years.
Despite claims of cremation and the delivery of what appeared to be ashes, the deceased’s body was identified in the building.
The lawsuit seeks legal recourse for the families affected, emphasising the emotional distress caused by the mishandling of their loved ones’ remains.
As investigations continue, the case highlights the importance of accountability in the funeral industry and the need for regulations to ensure the proper handling and documentation of human remains.