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Penrose Funeral Home investigation uncovers at least 189 decomposing bodies


PENROSE, Colo. (KRDO) - The Colorado Bureau of Investigations (CBI) said that at least 189 bodies were removed and transported from the Return to Nature Funeral Home in Penrose.

According to the CBI, the effort to remove the bodies was coordinated by the Fremont County Coroner’s Office.

The CBI says teams removed at least 189 individuals and transported them to the El Paso County Coroner's Office. The total number of decedents could change as the identification and investigative processes continue.

The second phase of this comprehensive process includes confirming identification and completing family notifications. According to the CBI, family notifications will be conducted by a team led by the Fremont County Coroner’s Office, victim advocates and others and this is expected to begin in the next several days. There is currently no timeline for completion.

“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,” said Fremont County Coroner Randy Keller.

Families who have not already done so are asked to go here to complete the questionnaire to assist in this process.

If you believe you or your loved one might have been impacted and you have further questions, please send an email to This is the most effective way to connect with resources; a person will respond to all emails from family members.

If you do not have access to email, Fremont County continues to operate a telephone hotline for families at 719-276-7421.

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Emily Arseneau

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