An environmentally friendly funeral home in Penrose, Colorado, is now under investigation. According to The Guardian, the establishment is being probed for the “improper handling” of human remains.
RELATED: Crook Steals Funeral Van With Body In Backseat Before Mysteriously Ditching Car 100 Miles Away Without Corpse
More Information Regarding The “Green” Funeral Home
According to the outlet, the investigation occurred at The Return To Nature Funeral Home. The establishment’s official website reports that the funeral home stopped offering cremation services around July. Additionally, the funeral home prioritizes a “green burial,” a “return to the traditional way of burial.”
The website adds that the process utilizes “no chemicals, metal or unnatural materials.”
“Just you and the Earth, returning to nature,” the website’s FAQ page reads. “Interment of the bodies is done in a biodegradable casket, basket, shroud, or even nothing at all. No embalming fluid, no concrete vaults. As natural as possible.”
More Details Regarding The Discovery By Police & Investigation
According to The Guardian, authorities were called to a building owned by the funeral home after nearby residents reported “a foul stench” on Tuesday.
“We just assumed it was a dead animal,” nearby resident Joyce Pavetti explained, as per The Guardian.
On Wednesday, sheriff’s investigators from the Fremont County Sheriff’s Office returned with a warrant and reportedly found at least 115 bodies of “improperly stored remains.”
According to ABC News, authorities reportedly discovered the bodies in a space of about 2,500 feet.
“During the last 48 hours, my office made a very disturbing discovery in the town of Penrose, Colorado,” Fremont County Sheriff Allen Cooper reportedly told the press Friday, per ABC News. “There have been a lot of questions and concerns expressed by the community, especially those families who entrusted their loved ones to this funeral home.”
Additionally, Sheriff Cooper described “the area of the funeral home where the bodies were improperly stored” as “horrific.”
“Without providing too much detail to avoid further victimizing these families, the area of the funeral home where the bodies were improperly stored was horrific,” the sheriff explained.
According to the outlet, it remains unclear “what the funeral home was doing with the human remains.” However, various Colorado organizations are now working with the FBI and conducting DNA testing to identify the deceased. Then, their families will be notified.
The outlet reports that the town of Penrose consists of approximately 3,000 residents. Additionally, The Guardian adds that green burials are legal in Colorado. However, if a deceased body is not buried within 24 hours, it must be “properly refrigerated.”
According to ABC News, it is currently “unclear” whether a crime has occurred at the establishment. Additionally, the outlet reports that no arrests have yet been made.
The Return To Nature Funeral Home owners are reportedly cooperating with authorities. However, police are urging anyone with information to send tips to [email protected] and for family members of the deceased to contact [email protected], as per KRDO.