POCATELLO — Identifying any of the fetuses Pocatello police recovered from Downard Funeral Home will be very difficult, authorities said.
Police announced in a Tuesday press release that approximately 50 fetuses were recovered from Downard during the execution of a search warrant there on Friday.
Police said in the same press release that they recovered 12 bodies from Downard and have thus far been able to identify five of them. Those five bodies have been turned over to local funeral homes who along with the Bannock County Coroner’s Office are locating next of kin.
The approximately 50 unidentified fetuses recovered by police have been turned over to the Ada County Coroner’s Office for further investigation but police said identifying them will not be easy.
Police said the fetuses are in various stages of development and it’s still undetermined why they were being kept at Downard.
As of Tuesday night, Pocatello police said their investigation into the “suspicious circumstances” at Downard had not resulted in criminal charges against anyone and no one has been taken into custody.
Police said they are hoping Downard’s owners will provide information that will help in the investigation.
Police said Tuesday that the unidentified bodies they recovered from Downard had been scheduled for cremation at the funeral home.
Police said they are currently working to identify those bodies.
Authorities launched an investigation Thursday into “suspicious circumstances” at Downard, located at 241 N. Garfield Ave., after state inspectors had visited the funeral home on Wednesday.
Police said that Lance Peck, who co-owns Downard with his wife, has voluntarily surrendered his licenses to operate the funeral home, causing the closure of the business until further notice.
The Ada County Coroner’s Office delivered a mass casualty refrigeration trailer to the funeral home on Friday so police would have a place to store the recovered bodies and fetuses.
Police said their execution of the search warrant at Downard on Friday was also precipitated by a badly decomposed body being reported there last week.
The Pecks have not offered a public comment about the police investigation of their funeral home, which was founded in 1931.