- The woman’s body and remains were found on February 6 during a court-ordered eviction of a home rented by Miles Harford.
Police have launched a search to find a former funeral home owner who they say kept a woman’s body in a hearse for two years and kept the cremated remains of at least 30 people in a cramped space at his home. Denver.
The 63-year-old woman’s body and ashes were found Feb. 6 during a court-ordered eviction of a home rented by Miles Harford, the 33-year-old owner of Apollo Funeral & Cremation Services in the Denver suburb of Littleton. .
The woman died in August 2022. Police said Harford was cooperating with investigators when the arrest warrant was announced last Friday.
But yesterday they offered a $2,000 Crimestoppers award for information leading to his arrest because he didn’t turn himself in to authorities and they can’t find him.
Harford appeared to have experienced financial problems in his business and was sometimes unable to complete cremations to provide remains to families for services.
The woman’s body and ashes were found Feb. 6 during a court-ordered eviction of a home rented by Miles Harford (pictured), the 33-year-old owner of Apollo Funeral & Cremation Services in the suburb of Littleton. in Denver.
The residence where the woman’s body was kept in a hearse for two years
At times, he might have provided family members with someone else’s ashes instead of their loved one’s ashes, Denver Police Commander Matt Clark said.
Temporary urns (shoebox-sized plastic boxes) were found in the home’s crawl space while a Denver sheriff’s deputy oversaw the removal of Harford’s belongings. Some of the boxes were empty.
Other urns were found in a moving truck parked outside and others were in the hearse where investigators found the woman’s body covered in blankets.
The order lists charges of abuse of a corpse, falsification of the death certificate and theft of money paid for the woman’s cremation.
Other charges may be filed as the investigation continues, Denver District Attorney Beth McCann said last week.
The recovered creams appear to be associated with people who died between 2012 and 2021, Clark said.
Denver Police Department Major Crimes Division Commander Matt Clark (left) and Denver District Attorney Beth McCann answer questions from reporters during a news conference at the Police Crime Laboratory of Denver in Denver, last Friday.
Clark said last week that the woman’s family is devastated.
‘They are shocked. They felt hurt by this,’ he said. ‘They believed they were processing their grief with the remains they had, and they had had services with that. And then they find out that that was not the person that was prosecuted and in fact she was being held in that hearse there.
The case is the latest to highlight the lack of oversight of Colorado’s funeral industry.
A married couple is awaiting trial in Colorado Springs after their arrest last year for allegedly abandoning nearly 200 bodies over several years inside a bug-infested facility and delivering fake ashes to relatives of the deceased.
Operators of another funeral home in the western Colorado city of Montrose received federal prison sentences last year for mail fraud after being accused of selling body parts and distributing fake ashes.
More than two dozen additional criminal cases and allegations involving Colorado funeral homes since 2007 were detailed in a January report sent to lawmakers by state regulators.
The cases included battered corpses, theft of personal effects, improper embalming of corpses, mislabeled remains, and remains never returned to their families.
The report concluded that additional regulation of the industry was “necessary to protect the public.”