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At least 115 bodies found improperly stored inside Return to Nature funeral home in Penrose

The Fremont County Coroner said the investigation started when community members reached out about an odor coming from the facility.



Photo credit: Lockhartvmedia Corp

In the evening of October 3, 2023, Deputies from the Fremont County Sheriff’s Office responded to 31 Werner Road, Penrose Colorado, following a report of a suspicious incident.

Upon arrival, deputies discovered that the property was owned by the Return to Nature Funeral Home, located in Colorado Springs, Colorado.

On October 4, 2023, investigators from the FCSO, along with the Fremont County Coroner’s Office and the Colorado Department of Regulatory Agencies, executed a search warrant on the premises. It was determined that human remains had been improperly stored inside the building.

As of October 5, 2023, the Fremont County Sheriff’s Office is collaborating with the Fremont County Coroner’s Office, the Colorado Bureau of Investigation, the Colorado Department of Regulatory Agencies, the Colorado Department of Public Health, and the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

The Fremont County Sheriff’s Office kindly requests family members of individuals who utilized the services of the Return to Nature Funeral Home to reach out via email to Please include your best contact number and preferred call time in the email. Rest assured, we will address each email promptly.

For those who do not have access to email, you can contact the Fremont Emergency Management call line at (719)-276-7421. Starting October 6, 2023, we will have victim assistance personnel available to respond to messages between 8 am and 6 pm. Additionally, victim assistance personnel will be present at 1901 East Main, Canon City CO, from 10 am to 6 pm. Please note that this phone and email assistance center is designated for families only, and we will not be able to respond to media inquiries.

This is an active investigation with resources being brought in from several different agencies. No further information can be released at this time.