According to court documents, a Colorado couple running a “eco-friendly” funeral home is accused of defrauding hundreds of families by keeping money intended for burial and cremation. The New York Post claims that instead of keeping their word, they used the money to buy opulent items like designer jewelry, bitcoin, and fancy cars, leaving almost 200 corpses to rot in filth.
Return to Nature was operated by Jon and Carie Hallford, who charged up to $1,895 for “traditional burials” and biodegradable alternatives. Investigators discovered that the couple had instead utilized the money for their own benefit, buying a $28,336 Infiniti SUV and a $92,566 GMC Yukon XL, as well as indulging in pricey trips, high-end shopping, and cryptocurrency.
Court documents claim that during this time, the remains of 189 people who had been placed in their care sat neglected in “bug-infested rooms filled with liquid decomposition.” Outrage has been generated, and concerns regarding possible legal ramifications have been raised by their flagrant disrespect for the wishes of their clients and the remains of their loved ones.
The latest disturbing revelations came to light as a judge ruled that the case against Jon Hallford could proceed to trial. The court made a similar ruling for Carie last month, the outlet noted. Both are set to be arraigned on a slew of charges, including abuse of a corpse, forgery, and money laundering related to their purchases, on March 21.
“To prey on people in the weakest, most vulnerable time of their lives is absolutely despicable,” said Danica Romero, whose sister, Samantha, was supposed to be cremated by Return to Nature after she died unexpectedly in December 2019.
“I don’t know what type of person even does that. Someone who doesn’t have a soul… My sister didn’t deserve this. None of the families involved deserve this,” she lamented.