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Sister of Penrose funeral home victim wants Colorado to regulate funeral industry

Sister of Penrose funeral home victim wants Colorado to regulate funeral industry
Sister of Penrose funeral home victim wants Colorado to regulate funeral industry 02:52

Danica Romero's family chose to use Return to Nature Funeral Home to take care of her sister's body when she died. The same funeral home in Penrose where hundreds of bodies were found in 2023.


They have since found out they never received her sister's remains at all.

"We have concrete," said Romero.

Danica says it was like reopening a wound all over again.

"You lose them the first time and then when you find out that their body was mishandled, or the funeral home didn't follow through with their contracted promises it's retraumatizing," said Romero.

Danica Romero

When she heard Friday that Miles Harford a former funeral home director in Denver is charged with mishandling a body and holding onto cremains, she was traumatized a third time.

"It's heartbreaking to know that there's more families being affected by this," said Romero.

She says lawmakers need to do something to regulate the funeral industry in Colorado so this stops happening.

 Miles Harford CBS

"I think there needs to be licensing and education for all employees as well as extensive background checks for every single employee that works for them. There needs to be liability insurance in case there is malpractice and families need restitution," said Romero. "There needs to be unannounced inspections as well.

Colorado is the only state that doesn't require funeral home directors or workers to be licensed. Danica says that is unacceptable.

"I never thought I had to think about what's going to happen to our loved ones when they pass," said Romero.

For the families who are now dealing with the knowledge that their loved ones were mistreated by yet another funeral home director; she says there are hundreds of people who are going through the same thing they can reach out to for support.

Danica Romero CBS

"Nobody really understands this trauma until you go through it," said Romero.

The Colorado Funeral Directors Association released a statement Friday saying:

"We in the Colorado Funeral Directors Association have been working with bill sponsors for over a year with hopes of getting rid of bad actors. Ultimately the plan and goal is that folks that are bad actors in the industry shouldn't be in the industry. This is a horrendous acts and our hearts goes out to the families."

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