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Lawsuit filed against Colorado funeral home where 189 improperly stored bodies were discovered

Lawsuit filed against southern Colorado funeral home where 189 improperly stored bodies found
Lawsuit filed against southern Colorado funeral home where 189 improperly stored bodies found 02:39

At least one family involved in the investigation into improperly stored bodies discovered earlier this month at the Return to Nature Funeral Home in Penrose has filed a lawsuit.

The Fremont County Sheriff's Office began an investigation on Oct. 4 after neighbors reported an odor emanating from the funeral home.

RELATED: Colorado hasn't licensed funeral practitioners since 1983. Now some want change. 

Richard Law said his father, Roger, was among the 189 human remains discovered during the investigation. He has filed a lawsuit and hopes others will join. The lawsuit makes 13 claims for relief against the funeral home and its owners. 

"Richard Law's experience is unfortunately very, very similar to 188 and potentially more families throughout the state and throughout the country," said Law's attorney Andrew Swan.

Law's father died of COVID-19 three years ago in November 2020 and, weeks later, he received what he thought were his father's ashes. 

The lawsuit states, "Nearly three years after his death, Roger still has never been cremated. Instead, he was allowed to decompose in squalid conditions at the Penrose property."

Law paid more than $1300 to cremate his father. He was also charged an additional $85 as a COVID upcharge to ensure the remains were safely handled. 

On Oct. 19, the FBI told Law his father was found in the funeral home. 

"Even as bodies were piling up inside the funeral home, these defendants continued to assume custody of more and more bodies," said Swan. 

Investigators at the scene of Return to Nature Funeral Home in Penrose. CBS

The El Paso County Coroner's Office said most of the people have been identified or tentatively identified. All decedents were removed from the funeral home on Oct. 13 and transported to the El Paso County Coroner's Office. 

The FBI and CBI have dispatched crews to the funeral home as part of the investigation.   

Additional Information from the Fremont County Sheriff's Office: 

Families who have not already done so are asked to go to and 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.

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