Several decaying bodies and human fetuses at Pocatello funeral home

POCATELLO – Investigators have completed the search for Downard Funeral Home and are no longer located.

Pocatello town spokesman Logan McDougall said detectives continued to process evidence, review documents and question those who may have information about the case.

McDougall confirmed during a search of the building that officers discovered several unrefrigerated bodies in various states of decomposition, some of which were severely decomposed. Human fetuses were also found at the scene.

Police have not provided a full tally or given an explanation as to why the bodies were decomposing or why the fetuses were on the property.

So far, no one has been arrested in connection with this case.

Downard Funeral Home is owned by Pocatello resident Lance Peck and his wife. Peck has a history of license violations, which is detailed here.

RELATED | The owner of the funeral home under investigation had a history of infractions

Additionally, Downard Funeral Home was previously tasked with donating corpses to Idaho State University for scientific study. That relationship ended last year, however, after the university had not received donations for some time.

In the process of ending the relationship, the university discovered that some families believed their loved ones’ remains had already been donated. However, the university had no record of receiving these bodies.

Following an internal audit of all records and transactions with Downard, which “indicated multiple grounds for concern”, the ISU filed formal complaints with the Bannock County District Attorney’s Office, Pocatello and the Idaho Professional and Professional Licensing Division.

RELATED | ISU recently terminated corpse contract with funeral home due to “multiple causes” of concern

The audit was launched in the fall of 2020 and complaints were filed this spring.

Teams from Pocatello Fire and EMS arrived in Downard on Thursday evening, following reports of a foul odor emanating from the building. Pocatello police served a search warrant on Friday morning and began methodically removing the bodies from inside the facility to a refrigerated trailer provided by the Ada County Coroner’s Office.

Police in Pocatello confirm that some of the bodies found inside the funeral home have been positively identified and moved to other local funeral homes, which are trying to contact next of kin.

RELATED | Authorities confirm funeral home investigation focuses on report of decomposing body

The bodies that have not been identified have been removed from the building and are now in the custody of the Bannock County Coroner. Officers will continue to attempt to identify the remaining deceased persons.

Family members with questions and concerns have been asked to appoint a contact person and call Pocatello Police at (208) 234-6100.

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