Colorado couple let 189 bodies rot while blowing cash on cars, crypto



A Colorado couple collected funds from hundreds of families for their “eco-friendly” funeral services, money that they then spent on cars, crypto and designer jewelry — while the bodies rotted in their decrepit facility, according to newly released court documents.

Jon and Carie Hallford billed their Return to Nature funeral home business as a “return to the traditional way of burial,” offering biodegradable interment and cremation for up to $1,895, the documents said.

But instead of following through on their promises to bury clients’ loved ones with dignity, the couple blew through the cash on big-ticket items including a $92,566 GMC Yukon XL and a $28,336 Infiniti SUV, the bombshell records revealed.

Between 2019 and 2023, the pair also splurged on cryptocurrency, lavish trips to Las Vegas and California, and four-figure spending sprees at Tiffany & Co. and Gucci.

Meanwhile, 189 bodies they vowed to dispose of were “stored unrefrigerated, in room infested by bugs and … liquid decomposition,” the affidavit stated.

Jon and Carie Hallford were arrested on multiple felony counts last year. AP

Some of the remains were even stacked on top of each other, or stored together in body bags wrapped in sheets and bound with duct tape.

In some cases, they allegedly gave families bags of mixed concrete instead of their loved ones’ ashes.

When authorities finally executed a search warrant at the Penrose facility last fall, the floors of the storage areas were so slippery with the liquid of human decomposition that it posed a risk to officials who were trying to remove the bodies, the affidavit noted.

The couple billed themselves as proprietors of an eco-friendly funeral home. Return to Nature Colorado

Even when the Hallfords did follow through on their job to bury the bodies in their care, they committed egregious errors, the investigation found.

At one point during the probe, officials found that Return to Nature had buried a female body in the grave at Pikes Peak National Cemetery that was intended for an honorably discharged male Army veteran.

The remains intended for the military grave were actually languishing at a coroner’s office — seemingly without his loved ones’ knowledge.

The funeral home was finally raided by officials last fall. AP

The latest disturbing revelations came to light as a judge ruled that the case against Jon Hallford can proceed to trial, ABC 7 reported.

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.

Jon Hallford (far left) appeared in court on Thursday. AP

Jon Hallford was released from jail after fronting $100,000 bond in January, while Carie Hallford remains held in lieu of $100,000 bond.

Several of the supposed victims’ loved ones were in court Thursday, ABC 7 noted.

“To prey on people in the weakest, most vulnerable time of their life 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.




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