A Colorado funeral home, Return to Nature Funeral Home, is currently under investigation for allegedly fabricating cremation records and providing families with fake ashes. The Associated Press has gathered information from customers and crematories, indicating that the funeral home may not have conducted the cremations as claimed. Families who had dealings with Return to Nature Funeral Home fear that their loved ones were not cremated and could be among the unidentified corpses discovered by authorities in response to a report of a foul odor.
Several families received death certificates stating that their loved ones’ remains had been handled by specific crematories. However, the crematories mentioned on the certificates have confirmed that they did not perform any cremations for Return to Nature Funeral Home on the dates specified. Additionally, none of the families interviewed received identification tags or certificates typically provided to ensure the authenticity of cremations.
Concerns were raised when family members noticed that the ashes they received appeared unusually heavy and had a consistency similar to dry concrete. Some families mixed the ashes with water, and they solidified, further raising suspicions. Funeral director Amber Flickinger from Platt’s Funeral Home, who examined the ashes, stated that they were unusually fine and dark, not resembling typical cremated remains.
Public records reveal that Return to Nature Funeral Home and its owners, Jon and Carie Hallford, have faced financial and legal troubles in recent times. The funeral home has been evicted, faced unpaid taxes, and was sued by Wilbert Funeral Services, which obtained a judgment of $21,000 in June due to non-payment for numerous cremations.