Human ashes found in Colo. Spgs. storage unit
COLORADO SPRINGS ” Dozens of containers of human ashes were found in a storage unit rented by a 71-year-old funeral home owner accused of bilking clients, relatives of the dead were told.
One relative said the ashes included those of her brother, which were supposed to have been scattered on Pikes Peak.
Family members said they were told about the discovery in letters from prosecutors who are handling the investigation of Neva Nolan, owner of Nolan Funeral Home.
Nolan faces more than 90 criminal charges including theft, theft from at-risk adults and abuse of a corpse. She is accused of collecting more than $140,000 in prepaid funeral expenses but never providing the services or refunding the money.
Investigators have said many of the victims were elderly, and most lost $3,000 to $4,000.
Among the remains found in the storage unit were those of William Elson II, who was cremated at Nolan Funeral Home about 15 years ago, said his sister, Linda Carnell.
Carnell said the family had paid to have the ashes scattered on Pikes Peak, and she had taken comfort in that thought whenever she looked at the 14,110-foot mountain west of Colorado Springs.
“Then I find out in July he’s been sitting in some storage shed,” Carnell said. “My brother and I just started crying when we got that letter.”
She said her family has since held another service and buried her brother’s remains.
Carnell said she was told 70 boxes with remains were found in the shed.
Some family members said they were told by prosecutors at a meeting last week that no surviving relatives have be found for about 50 of the people whose remains were discovered in the shed.
Marcia Fields of Colorado Springs, who attended the meeting, said family members were told there is little chance of getting restitution from Nolan because she has no money that investigators could find.
“Some are of the mind that she should get probation and work off her restitution,” Fields said.
Nolan has been held in the El Paso County jail in lieu of $50,000 bond since she surrendered in August.
She was due in court Tuesday amid speculation that a plea agreement could be announced. She could be sentenced to more than 100 years in prison if convicted of all 90 counts against her.
Information from: The Gazette, http://www.gazette.com/