COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (KRDO) -- The Return to Nature Funeral Home in Penrose is not the only location in legal trouble. 13 Investigates learned the owners of the company Jon and Carie Hallford owe thousands of dollars tied to their funeral home locations in Colorado Springs.
The Return to Nature Funeral Home in Penrose is located at 31 Werner Road. According to the Fremont County assessor’s website, the property is owned by HallfordHomes LLC, which matches with the company name at the bottom of the Return to Nature Funeral Home’s website.
According to the Colorado Department of Regulatory Agencies, the HallfordHomes LLC funeral home’s business license expired at the end of November 2022.
13 Investigates found multiple civil lawsuits filed in El Paso County against HallfordHomes LLC. Those court documents also name Jon and Carie Hallford as defendants in the lawsuits, claiming the couple owes multiple people thousands of dollars.
In 2017, KRDO interviewed Jon Hallford about the opening of the new green funeral home in Colorado Springs on Las Animas Street, which emphasizes green burials with minimal environmental impacts.
“Being chemically embalmed you are transforming your body into a toxic substance for all of eternity,” Jon Hallford said in the interview.
Although the business license for HallfordHomes LLC has expired, a funeral home business license for Return to Nature Funeral Home was active until Thursday night. Now the license says it has been suspended. That license on the Secretary of State’s website, lists a location at 815 E. Platte Avenue, which according to records, the company moved to at some point.
According to court documents, that's when the Hallford’s started running into financial troubles. One lawsuit filed by Wilbert Funeral Services claims the Hallford’s owe them $21,286.26 for “goods and services rendered.” The Platte Avenue location is listed on the court documents.
13 Investigates went to the location to find answers about what happened, but the building is abandoned, with a pile of mail on the entryway floor, a ‘for sale’ sign in the yard and no cars in the parking lot.
13 Investigates found another lawsuit from filed by Kenney and Company that claims the Hallford’s breached their lease agreement at the Platte Avenue location and owe the landlord $97,320.26 for “rent, damages and other charges.”
In June, the Return to Nature Funeral Home Facebook page announced a new location would open in July at 944 Elkton Drive off of Garden of the Gods Road. 13 Investigates went to that location but it appeared closed with the door locked.
While at the location a customer also tried to go inside. He told 13 Investigates he spent a couple thousand dollars on future funeral arrangements for him and his wife. He said he heard about the investigation and was concerned how his money was spent.
On top of the lawsuits against the Hallford’s, court records show Carie Hallford owes the Colorado Department of Revenue multiple payments, including one of more than $5,000.
13 Investigates tried reaching out to both Jon and Carie Hallford but we weren’t able to get in touch with them.
Around 5:30 p.m. Thursday night, multiple Colorado Springs Police cars arrived at the funeral home in Colorado Springs. About ten other plain clothed law enforcement personnel with the El Paso County Sheriff’s Office and the Colorado Bureau of Investigations walked around the building taking pictures. At about 7 p.m. they entered the building and continued to take pictures.
As of this article, neither Jon or Carie Hallford have been charged criminally.