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Rotting bodies and fake ashes spur Colorado lawmakers to pass funeral home regulations

Return to Nature Funeral Home
Posted at 5:48 PM, May 06, 2024
and last updated 2024-05-06 21:33:41-04

DENVER (AP) — Colorado lawmakers have passed a sweeping bill to overhaul the state’s lax oversight over funeral homes after a series of horrific incidents, including sold body parts, fake ashes, and the discovery of 190 decaying bodies.

The cases have devastated hundreds of already grieving families and encouraged lawmakers to pass the bill. The push for change came following the discovery of 190 bodies in various states of decomposition at a funeral home in Penrose, Colorado in October of 2023.

News5 has a comprehensive timeline of the events that took place at the Penrose Funeral Home below.

The legislation will go to Democratic Gov. Jared Polis’ desk for a signature after the Senate passed the third reading of the bill with no amendments Monday.

Colorado’s current funeral home regulations are some of the weakest in the nation. News5 dived into what that licensing could look like.

WATCH: Inside look at the push to license Colorado funeral directors

If signed, the law would give regulators far greater enforcement power over funeral homes and require routine inspections of facilities including after one shutters.

AP Writer Jesse Bedayn contributed to this report.

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