Who owns Downard Funeral Home? 12 corpses, 50 dead fetuses found on Idaho property
An Idaho funeral home has come under scrutiny after making headlines for the discovery of 12 decomposing bodies and some 50 dead fetuses on its premises. In the wake of the discovery, a TikTok user has also shared a two-month-old one-star review for the funeral home where the reviewer allegedly wrote of a 'pugnacious' smell coming from the venue. TikToker @truecrimecam2 who shared the review on the app, called the review “disturbing to read after the news that just came out about this funeral home.”
The original review of the funeral home read “Services were beautiful but was ruined by the most pugnacious smell ever," most likely confusing the word “pugnacious” with “pungent.” The funeral home had a relationship with the Idaho State University until 2020, which is how it got hold of the fetal remains. As newer details about the findings at the funeral home become public, the facility's current owner Lance Peck has also been revealed to have had a long history of allegedly manhandling human remains.
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Who owns Downard Funeral home?
The facility located in Pocatello, Idaho, was founded in 1931, by Byron B Downard, conducting the first funeral service in its premises in the month of June, the same year. The current owner, Lance R Peck, purchased Downard Funeral Home in September of 2007 after working for David and Maureen Hansen for over a decade. Idaho-born and raised Peck is also an Idaho State University alumni — the same university that had granted the fetal remains to Downard Funeral Home for cremation. Peck eventually transferred to Mount Hood Community College and got a degree in Mortuary Science, before passing the National Board Examination in 1999. He passed the Idaho State Board Exam and became a licensed mortician later that same year.
Downard's history of providing funeral services and their relationship with customers seemed satisfactory, apart from some glaringly negative reviews, here and there. A one star review on Google, written six years ago, states that Peck had told the review-poster that her father's ashes would be sent to her uncle in Alaska. “It was recently brought to my attention that my uncle never received the box of my father’s ashes." The Idaho Division of Occupational and Professional Licenses also reported that Peck had been placed on probation for six months in 2015 for “failing to ensure that a decedent was embalmed and donated to Idaho State University” and “failing to create and maintain records relating to the disposition of the decedent’s remains.”
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History of manhandling remains
In 2018, Peck was placed on probation for two years and had his license suspended for six months for “failing to carry out instructions for disposition” in 2018. He was also placed on a two-year probation in 2016 for “operating a crematory with an expired license.” The fetal remains had arrived at Downard sometime in 2017, after the passing of a state law that prohibited public universities from using fetal remains for study. The Idaho State University gave its collection to the funeral home. But soon they heard back from families complaining that remains of their loved ones never reached them.
The university then performed an internal audit and the recent news release states: "At no time during the University’s internal audit was it discovered that the fetal remains were never cremated." The recent TikTok video has also stirred quite a bit of reaction as the Daily Dot reports people replied under the clip asking whether the remains were being sold by the funeral home, or shockingly enough, being eaten.