It’s a profession not everyone could do, but one that helps others through their darkest hours. For a select few, their entire job is to deal with the scenes people hope to never witness.
Crime scene cleaners are responsible for cleaning up after a crime when all of the evidence is collected and the detectives leave.
One Colorado couple who started their own crime scene cleaning company has seen what most people are fortunate to never witness, and are sticking with their profession despite some very tough times.
Rocky Mountain BioHazard has been in the crime and trauma scene industry since 2014. It was founded by Randel and Donnie Lamirande. The company takes calls 24/7, helping with crime scene cleanup across Colorado.
Rocky Mountain BioHazard showed FOX21 their daily routine at a mock clean-up in Colorado Springs.
“The day that you’ve think you’ve seen it all, something else arises,” Randel said.
It was a calling Randel never thought he’d answer, but he knew he wouldn’t be doing this alone because he and his wife are in this together.
“When I said ‘We are getting into the crime and trauma scene industry and cleanup’ and she said ‘Are you joking?'” Randel said.
Now, four years later, Donnie is handling the administrative side, with the occasional cleanup.
“It’s not easy, it’s not exciting, it’s not fun, but knowing you’re helping is everything,” Donnie said.
The couple said employees with the right mentality have been hard to come by.
“I never thought I’d make a career out of something so insane as this,” employee Dylan Fodge said.
Before Fodge starting working at Rocky Mountain BioHazard, he was employed at a church. He said the reason for switching careers was so he could serve more. According to the Lamirandes, that made Fodge the perfect fit for their business.
“In all honesty every night we pray, please help us, help others, if they need our help, help them find us, and we are here to help them,” Donnie said.
About a year and a half ago, the Lamirandes’ business hit closer to home than they ever thought possible.
“One morning I got a phone call from my sister and she told me that my nephew had died by suicide,” Donnie said.
It was a shock to their family and continues to be to this day, with the process of healing still taking place.
The Lamirandes said after they heard the news, it was time to help their family. They felt called to do their nephew’s cleanup.
“So, we went out there and did the cleanup, which was extremely hard, packed him up, and moved him out, and we waited for him to be cremated,” Donnie said.
It’s a tragedy that’s given the couple insight beyond the cleanup process.
“I answer questions now that I was unable to answer before,” Randel said. “You know, people ask me what do I do now? And I can help them through that.”
The Lamirandes said they treat every case like it’s their own family and sometimes take the job home, but always use what they learn to help others.
“A story about my nephew: he reached out and he called many people and they didn’t answer the phone,” Donnie said. “So what if that one person who answered could have saved it? And that’s huge, so please, answer that phone. If it’s in the middle of the night, you don’t know, just be there to help, no matter what. No matter how inconvenient or anything, answer the phone and make sure everyone is okay.”
If you or someone you know is having thoughts of suicide, there is help available, including:
- The 24/7 National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255
- Crisis services, including behavioral health resources, in El Paso County
- Suicide prevention training and events in El Paso County