Local family’s positive ending to emotional roller coaster following Downard investigation


Candice Johnson; Downard

In the video above, Blackfoot resident Candice Johnson speaks with EastIdahoNews.com about her family’s experience with Downard Funeral Home.

BLACKFOOT — When Candice Johnson saw that Downard Funeral Home was under police investigation, the news struck her and her family hard.

Johnson’s mother, who is still alive, recently prepaid Downard and owner Lance Peck for funeral services. Johnson’s mother had used an inheritance to cover her services, so the cost would not be passed on to Johnson and her brother.

Then, on Sept. 3, Johnson discovered Downard was no longer operating as police investigated its handling of human remains. “It was a panic,” she said.

“When the news broke,” Johnson said, “it was like, ‘Oh my gosh, what are we going to do? We just invested all this money.’”

RELATED | Officials confirm funeral home investigation centers around report of decomposing body

Johnson’s family contacted Pocatello Police, as instructed, and were told at first that the only way they would be able to recover their money was through civil court. It was a stressful period of time for the entire family.

Then, more than a week later, Johnson was reviewing the documents related to the prepaid funeral service and discovered that the service was not paid for directly to Downard. She discovered the service was actually an insurance policy — one that could be transferred to another funeral home.

Johnson said she agreed to speak about her family’s ordeal in order to get this information to others who may find themselves in a similar stressful situation.

“It was nice to know that it was an insurance policy in my mom’s name, with a beneficiary that’s not the funeral home,” Johnson said. “I’m glad that the result was good. And I hope that this kind of information gets out to more people so that they don’t sit with the question of, well, now what am I going to do?”

According to Johnson, her family’s search for a new funeral home has been positive. It is nice to know, she said, that funeral homes throughout the region have reached out to help those affected by the recent events at Downard.

“For an industry that has been scarred by one individual, it’s comforting to know that they’re stepping up and saying, ‘Hey, that’s one very odd thing that happened, we don’t do business like that.’”

RELATED | Sister of woman found decomposing inside funeral home ‘can’t believe this is happening’

The post Local family’s positive ending to emotional roller coaster following Downard investigation appeared first on East Idaho News.


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