Affidavit: Man charged with abuse of corpse was trying to get into funeral business

Craig Ryan Brown and J. Timothy Brown / Colorado Springs Police Department
Craig Ryan Brown and J. Timothy Brown / Colorado Springs Police Department

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — We’re learning more about the men who were arrested on several charges after human remains were found in a Colorado Springs garage last month.

Craig Ryan Brown, 34, and J. Timothy Brown, 52, have been arrested for first-degree criminal trespass, conspiracy, and abuse of a corpse.

An arrest affidavit for Timothy was released Friday. The affidavit for Craig has not yet been released.

The discovery

According to the affidavit, around 11 a.m. September 25, police got a call from a resident who lives near 2525 North Cascade Avenue. The neighbor told police the door to the detached garage at 2525 Cascade had been open for a couple of days. The neighbor went to check on the property and noticed a “dead meat” smell coming from the fly-infested garage. He saw a brown paper bag with evidence tape on it, a black bag that looked like a body bag, and blood on the ground nearby. The neighbor called 911 immediately to report what he found.

When officers arrived, they found several containers that looked like the ones used by the coroner’s office. They opened the containers and found body parts inside.

The house

A search of property records led police to 81-year-old Arlen Brown, the owner of The Springs Funeral Services. Arlen told police the house at 2525 Cascade had belonged to his mother. When she died in October 2015, the house was repossessed by the bank. Arlen told police his daughter had lived in the house for a while, but had moved out in July 2015.

When police told Arlen human remains had been found on the property, Arlen “became immediately concerned,” according to the affidavit. He suspected his son, Timothy, was involved.

The funeral business

Arlen told police Timothy was trying to get into the funeral business, but didn’t have the money.

A Divide funeral home owner told police Timothy had asked about buying a used cot or gurney for his new business, but had never come to pick it up.

A coroner’s office employee told police Timothy and Craig worked for Acumen Funeral Home. The company was in Craig’s name because Timothy, who had previously worked for the coroner’s office, was a convicted felon and could not get a funeral services license. The license was granted on July 22, 2016.

Timothy told police the funeral home was located on Acacia Drive, according to the affidavit. A Google listing showed the address as 2545 King Street #1.

Police determined the Acacia Drive address was a single-family home where Craig sometimes stayed. At the King Street address, police found an empty four-plex apartment building. A “Fort Rent” sign was in the yard.

There were no signs to indicate a business was operating out of either building.

The remains

Police determined the remains were those of Jeffory Calvert, 52, of Monte Vista. Calvert had been reported missing on Memorial Day. His body was found along the bank of the Alamosa River in Conejos County on June 23.

The coroner’s office said Calvert’s family had authorized them to give the remains to Timothy and Craig. On September 22, Timothy and Craig came to pick up the remains in a white U-Haul.

The investigation

A few days after the neighbor found the remains, Timothy called police and told them he was “missing a body.” He told police the coroner’s office had “made them” pick up the body, but they didn’t have anywhere to put it. He also said the state hadn’t paid him for the funeral/cremation services. He told police he had taken the body to his grandmother’s vacant home at 2525 Cascade.

In an interview with a news station the next day, Craig said he and Timothy were doing their best “to work this out” with police.

The arrests

Arrest affidavits were issued for both men on October 4. They were arrested later that week.

Timothy is set to appear in court on October 18. A court date for Craig was not immediately available.


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