Downard Funeral home, is located in Pocatello Idaho… across the street from a high school. Michelle went to the high school, and as a student there she could smell the days they would cremate bodies… she knew their schedule. Those days the air would smell both sweet and sour as remains were taken care of. That was before the Pecks purchased the home in 2007 where we begin our strange story of the Pecks, their funeral home and whole bunch of unexplained mysteries, I’d like to talk about, and hear other theories on!
A few years passed without much incident for Downard Funeral home, at least recorded incident but May 2, 2015 our story starts becoming recorded. On this day Lance was fined for operating without a license, and failing to see that a decedent was embalmed and donated to ISU. Also, for lack of records relating to said decedent’s remains. Lance was ordered to pay a fine of 2500 dollars, as well as investigative costs and attorney fees of 3,800 dollars. Also he was placed on probation for six months.
July 12, 2016 he again is found operating with an expired crematory licence. He is fined 2000 dollars, investigative costs and attorney fees of 2015 dollars and placed on probation for two years.
September 5 2018, found guilty of failing to carry out instructions for disposition and misrepresentation in the conduct of mortician services. His licenses were suspended for six months (He complied) and was ordered to pay a 2000 dollar fine, 2015 in investigative costs and legal fees and placed on probation for two years.
March 24, 2021 there was a routine inspection, where Lance informs the inspector that an explosion had occurred during the last cremation and caused major damage. There were six bodies waiting to be cremated, but they were stored properly and all records were in order. He stated that he was on a waiting list for repairs and that he was going to have other crematories assist with cremations until repairs were done. On both April 30, 2021 and June 16, 2021 he reported that he was still waiting for the repairs.
July 26, 2021 a past client came to Lance because as per her mother’s wishes she was to be taken to ISU and would remain with ISU for five years. Having passed away January 28 2016 five years would have been up in January 2021. She was curious what had happened with her mothers remains. ISU says that the remains were returned to the funeral home on April 7, 2017. She was never given the cremains.
On July 29, 2021 information was received by the repair company that repairs would begin around August 23, 2021.
August 9, 2021 a complaint comes in from ISU stating that from 2011 to 2017 they had been working with the funeral home who was supposed to cremate the remains given and return them to family. Two family members reached out to the University because they had never received cremains of their family. Also, it seems that ISU has no record of bodies being donated despite families and obituaries stating that the wishes were for the bodies to go to ISU.
August 31, 2021 a complaint is received that there is an overwhelming odor coming from the funeral home, as well as a decomposing body on the prep room table that was visible to students for days including to high school students and another decomposing body in one of the funeral homes vehicles in a body bag. An inspector went out that day to visit and the funeral home is locked, and the inspector at that time couldn’t see a decomposing body. There was however a rear overhead garage door open and it was emitting a strong odor so the investigator did contact the County Coroner’s office.
September 1, 2021 a full inspection is done of the funeral home and what they find is horrifying. “One badly decomposed body in the drive through, which, according to Peck, had been in the garage for approximately one month”. He was told to relocate the body to the fridge.
September 2, 2021 investigations continue. They find ten bodies properly put in the fridge which is functioning. “The investigator and inspector walked into the drive-through garage and observed that the floor and multiple body boxes appear to be covered in human decomposition material, and another badly decomposed body was in a plastic bag.” Also at this time it is found that there were multiple fetuses in various stages of development.
Twelve bodies, and the fetuses were removed from the funeral home. Lance Peck voluntarily surrendered his licenses.
According to law “if a dead body is to be held longer than 24 hours prior to burial, cremations, or other disposition, the body must be either embalmed or refrigerated at 36 degrees F or less until buried, cremated, or otherwise disposed of.”
Let’s start, with the fetuses, which seriously give me the creeps! Now, it turns out that these remains were once part of a biological collection that ISU had. ISU had these remains sent to the home for cremation in 2017!!!! Yeah, 2017 which means they have been there hanging out for 4 years! WTF Why??? Why??? Seriously, having four years and never finding the time to properly take care of them but instead just keep them around? What was he planning on doing with them? Did he think he could somehow sell them to someone? Was it a weird fetish?
Next, the 12 bodies removed from the funeral home. Six of the bodies were identified quickly, and more have been identified since but at one point the police department did ask for help in identifying and therefor gave descriptions of six of the bodies to the public to help identify them. I feel like I should read them just to give some insight to what state things were in at the funeral home. (Descriptions from KSL article)
Subject No. 2
Adult male approximately mid-60s to early-70s at the time of his passing. The male has an average build. Male has a white/grey mustache, short white beard stubble, balding with white hair, and thick, dark eyebrows. He was wearing a maroon T-shirt with a front left breast pocket. He was wrapped in a dark blue sheet around his back and had a red, white, and black plaid fleece blanket around his legs. He also has gold teeth/fillings on his upper rear molars. The male may have been in hospice care at the time of his passing. It is estimated that he has been at the facility for approximately 30 to 60 days.
Subject No. 3
Adult male approximately early to mid-60s at the time of his passing. The male has a white beard with salt and pepper short hair with a full head of hair. The male is barrel-chested and appears to have a large frame. He was wearing a long-sleeve blue T-shirt with three buttons at the collar and a left breast pocket. He was wearing black athletic pants and had on a green nonslip sock on the left foot and a red nonslip sock on the right foot. He was wrapped in a blue/teal pattern fitted bed sheet and a white, grey, and red knitted Christmas-type blanket. He also had a pillow below his head that had a blue pillowcase with penguins and polar bears in Santa hats. The male may have been in hospice care at the time of his passing. It is estimated that he has been at the facility since late November 2020 to early January 2021.
Subject No. 6
Believed to be an adult female in her 70s to 80s at the time of their passing. Subject has white hair approximately to the collar and was only wearing a blue, purple, green, and red plaid button-up collared long sleeve shirt. The time estimation on this subject is unknown due to the circumstances. The subject may have been in hospice care at the time of their passing. Subject appears to have their upper teeth, with a slightly crooked upper front right incisor that protrudes further than the left incisor. The subject has a very thin build and appeared to be shorter.
Subject No. 7
Adult female approximately late 50s to early 60s at the time of her passing. The female is of average build and has dyed red hair that was in a bun on top of her head, but growing grey roots. The female had obvious tooth decay, and her upper front teeth are very short and dark-colored. Female was wearing a pink button-up pajama top with long sleeves that had “Sweet Cat” printed on it with images of grey and black cartoon cats. The female did not have pants on. She was wearing white socks with purple toes and heels, and “U-R AMAZING” in pink letters. The female may have been in hospice care at the time of her passing. It is estimated that she had been at the facility for a few days before 9/3/2021.
Subject No. 9
Adult male approximately late 30s to early 40s at the time of his passing. The male is approximately 6’0″ tall with an athletic body type, brown hair with slight greying, and had a well-groomed beard. The male appears to have been embalmed and had on make-up for a viewing and/or a funeral service. He was wearing a white long sleeve t-shirt and blue jeans. He has three distinct tattoos; one on the back of his neck that is a sun with sunbursts, one on his left side with a black bull with red eyes and blue lightning bolts surrounding it, and a Rottweiler dog sitting on a pile of skulls on his right calf. Based on the circumstances, it is unknown how long he has been at the facility due to the embalming process.
Subject No. 11
Adult female approximately 60s to 70s at the time of her passing. The female was bald and had a curly dark grey wig. 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, 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 female may have been in hospice care at the time of her passing. It is estimated that she had been at the facility for approximately two weeks before 9/3/2021.
Alright, so some of these bodies have been there for a decent length of time! What the hell were they still doing there???? Okay, so his cremation chamber was broken, so he what just forgot for a year? Never had anyone sent to other crematoriums? Or did he pick and choose who he sent?
My aunt was left to rot for 8 months in the supposed care of this man. We had a service held with ashes that we were told belonged to her, only to find out that he had never cremated her. So we aren’t sure whose ashes we buried. Call it laziness, but for our family it goes beyond neglect to allow for someone’s loved one to be mistreated like that, and then to lie to our faces and give us someone else’s ashes to bury. I am just so sick to my stomach.
Screenshot I took from facebook comments:
Not only are there these bodies that were found, but there are also now families who don’t know where their families remains are thanks to Downard Funeral home. Sean McDonald has contacted everyone he can think of in an attempt to figure out where his aunt’s remains are. Initially, he was told she was one of the 12 bodies found, but now all but one are identified and the one remaining does not match his aunt… so he is currently just waiting trying to figure out what is going on with his family member.
Somehow making profit? Selling them? Why wouldn’t he at least keep them in the fridge, or embalmed? You would think in order to sell them even on some sort of black market that you would need to have them in better condition than they would be just laying around decomposing!
Cannibalism? Oh God this creeps me out… was he trying to make jerky?
Necrophilia. I can’t… omg this one is just… and if this is it how/why did he pick his victims?
Sources: Official legal document: Before The State of Idaho Board of Morticians, https://apnews.com/article/science-biology-idaho-pocatello-idaho-state-university-2dfe8459de3335607fd1a61a878318de, https://www.ksl.com/article/50239298/police-need-help-identifying-6-bodies-at-funeral-home-as-origin-of-50-fetuses-is-discovered, https://www.eastidahonews.com/2021/09/investigators-working-to-identify-cremated-remains-found-in-funeral-home-one-body-still-unidentified/, https://www.reddit.com/r/mrballen/comments/phu4lh/pocatello_police_find_several_bodies_several/hd5ckbz/?context=3, https://idahonews.com/news/local/man-says-aunts-remains-went-missing-at-pocatello-funeral-home