NewsCovering Colorado


Co-owner of Penrose funeral home released on bail Monday night, families react

Posted at 6:02 AM, Jan 30, 2024
and last updated 2024-01-30 23:47:37-05

EL PASO COUNTY, Colo. — Jon Hallford, one of the owners of the Return to Nature Funeral Home, was released on bond just after 11 p.m. on Monday.

He and his wife, Carie Hallford, both face over 250 felony counts, including abuse of a corpse, money laundering, forgery, and theft. The couple is accused of improperly storing 190 bodies inside the funeral home in Penrose.

A judge reduced bonds for both Jon and Carie Hallford from $2 million to $100,000 earlier this month. Now that he has bonded out, Jon will have to wear a GPS ankle monitor, surrender his passport, have sobriety monitoring, and check in with the court three times a week.

Many family members of the alleged victims said they were expecting Jon to bond out of jail, but still feel uneasy knowing he is walking among them in the community.

“I don't think that he'll come after us, but I don't know what might happen to him. I thought about what I would do if I ran into him at Walmart," said Samantha Naranjo, who said her grandmother's body was identified inside the funeral home.

Abby Swoveland said her mother was found inside Return to Nature. She said she didn't expect Jon to bond out this soon.

“I had been thinking to myself that surely there wasn't a bondsman that would write a bond for them because they have fled before," she said.

The couple was arrested in Oklahoma more than a month after authorities launched an investigation into the funeral home. When lowering bond for the two, the judge said he considered the circumstances of their arrest. He ultimately decided the conditions of their release were enough to make sure they would be present for their future court hearings.

Carie Hallford remains in the El Paso County Jail. Her arraignment hearing is set for March 21 which is when she will enter a plea. Jon Hallford's preliminary hearing is on Feb. 8.

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