PENROSE, Colo. (KXRM) — As of Friday, all human remains had been removed from the Return to Nature Funeral Home, according to the Colorado Bureau of Investigation, with the number of bodies removed from the home rising to near 200.
It was originally estimated that the remains of 115 people were discovered at the funeral home, but that number has now been surpassed. The CBI said the Fremont County Coroner’s Office removed the remains of at least 189 individuals and transported them to the El Paso County Coroner’s Office, with support from several other entities.
The CBI said the total number of bodies could change as the identification and investigative processes continue.
The next phase of the process includes confirming the identification of the remains and notification of families. The CBI said family notifications will be conducted by a team led by the Fremont County Coroner’s Office, victim advocates and others. Notifications are expected to begin in the next several days.
“While the investigation for this incident continues, we also remain focused on the impacted families,” Fremont County Sheriff Allen Cooper said. “We want to do all we can to provide the families the support they need as we shift to the next phase in this process.”
The CBI said there is currently no timeline for completion.
Families who have not already done so are urged to fill out an FBI questionnaire to assist investigators.
“We are conducting extensive coordination efforts as we focus on the identification of the decedents and provide notifications to ensure the families are given accurate information to prevent further victimization as they continue to grieve their loved ones,” Fremont County Coroner Randy Keller said.
If you believe you or your loved one might have been impacted and you have further questions, you are asked to send an email to email@example.com. The CBI said this is the most effective way to connect with resources, and family members will receive a response from a person.
If you do not have access to email, Fremont County continues to operate a telephone hotline for families at 719-276-7421.