POCATELLO, Idaho (KIFI) - The grieving that comes with losing a loved one is always hard, but the tragedy that some families are now is something they could’ve never imagined.
"It’s taking some time for reality to sit in," said Brock Wilks, Director of Wilks Funeral Home in Chubbuck where some of the bodies were taken. “They just can’t imagine that they are in the situation that they currently find themselves In and so I think that seems to have been their first hurdle. It’s just really coming to terms with reality. And then from there, it’s almost like they are starting all over again."
The Wilks Funeral home has taken some of the bodies that were seized from Downard Funeral Home after the remains of 12 people and about 50 fetuses were discovered in various states of decomposition.
Some of them severely decomposed.
"Absolutely," Wilks said. "The authorities are likely needing to go into forensic measures to make identification of some of these."
Chilling news for families are wondering where the remains of their loved ones are.
"They want to be sure that the individual that was identified as their loved one is actually their loved one and so we’ve been communicating back-and-forth with them as far as identifying marks whether that’s through a tattoo through a scar or some recent surgical procedure and so we’re able to we’re actually offering to take a picture for that family if they want to have that verification of the tattoo or identifying marks so they have that and as well as the clothing we are making sure that that matches up with the description the family gives us matches up," Wilks said.
And right now being able to identify everyone so their families can lay them to rest is the most important thing.
Remains to be seen.
So far only 5 of the 12 bodies have been identified. The 5 bodies were taken to Wilks Funeral Home is offering its services to the families free of charge to try and help them get through an unbelievable situation.
The fetuses were taken to the Ada County coroner to try and identify and get an accurate count.
Wilks has been working with the families to try and get them through this tragedy.
We asked him how he felt as a funeral home director seeing this.
"I’m just, I feel so broken hearted for the families who are in this situation," he said. "And it’s one thing when we have to witness what we have seen because of natural circumstances, but the negligence is just heartbreaking and to know that all of this could have been prevented it’s just sad. That’s why we really want to do all that we can to make this situation as smooth as possible for families."