MERRILLVILLE, Ind. (AP) - Two children and two adults died of apparent
carbon monoxide poisoning from a gas-powered generator at a northwestern
Indiana house, police said.
A relative found the family members dead Wednesday evening after going to
check on them, Merrillville Police Chief Joseph Petruch told The Times of
Petruch called the deaths “an unfortunate accident.”
The family moved into the well-kept two-story rental home in Merrillville,
just south of Gary, over the weekend, but police said the electricity had
not been turned on. Police said the generator was inside an attached garage
and had power cords going to several electronic devices, with all the home’s
exterior doors and windows closed.
Petruch said investigators believe the family could have died Saturday.
The Lake County coroner’s office identified those who died as 41-year-old
Micheal Nichols, 38-year-old Kennetha Purnell, 13-year-old Matthew Nichols
and 11-year-old Morgan Nichols.
Neighbor Janet Yaros told WBBM-TV that she and others were stunned by the
deaths and wished they could have done something to help.
“We, as the neighbors, had not seen any movement for several days, and the
van stayed in the same place all the time,” she said. “And we knew something
wasn’t right, we just didn’t know who to contact.”