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Investigators working to identify cremated remains found in funeral home, one body still unidentified


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POCATELLO — Investigators are continuing to identify cremated remains found at the Downard Funeral Home earlier this month.

Pocatello detectives are working with the Idaho Division of Occupational and Professional Licenses to determine individuals associated with the remains and contact their family members. The majority of the cremated remains that have been identified by officers have been returned to the next of kin, according to a news release from Pocatello Police.

“Officers have been receiving questions regarding identifying cremated remains through DNA testing,” the news release says. “The Idaho State Police Forensic Services office said the cremation process is very destructive to DNA and while ISP laboratories are equipped with highly modern technology and equipment, it is unlikely testing would produce identification.”

Police have been unsuccessful at finding public or private DNA laboratory services to perform testing that could help in identifying the remains.

Detectives are still working with the Bannock County Coroner to identify one remaining body found in the funeral home. The woman was in her 60s or 70s at the time she died, was bald and had a curly dark grey wig. Police say she had pink acrylic or press-on fingernails and was wearing a long pink pajama shirt with a screen print of a bear holding a coffee cup. She was also wearing pink bunny slippers that had “I’m a BEAR in the morning” printed on the front. She had a medical port on her chest that was purple. The woman may have been in hospice care at the time of her passing and officials believe she had been at the facility for approximately two weeks before Sept. 3.

Detectives say twelve decomposing bodies were found inside the funeral home on Friday, Sept. 3. Lance Peck and his two businesses, Downard Funeral Home and Portneuf Valley Crematory, have officially had their license revoked by the Idaho Board of Morticians. He has not been criminally charged.

Family members, friends or hospice workers with information on the unidentified deceased woman are asked to call the Pocatello Police Department (208) 234-6121 or the Bannock County Coroner’s Office at (208) 236-7377.