On Monday afternoon, an adult male and his seven children were found dead in their home on Antioch Avenue. Police said that the eight people died most probably in their sleep due to a carbon monoxide leak from a kitchen gas generator.
Scott Keller, the chief of Princess Anne Police, reported that seven of the victims were children. The youngest was 6 year old while the eldest was 16. The adult male found besides them was their father.
The man’s wife was notified but because more relatives needed to be contacted, the police declined to disclose yet the victims’ identity. Chief Keller believes that the news will have a “tragic impact” on the neighborhood.
Stephanie Wells, one of the adult victim’s co-workers, said that she last talked to him March 28. Other people confirmed that that was the date when they last spoke to any of the victims.
The adult male who was found dead Monday was a food service worker at the University of Maryland Eastern Shore, while Ms. Wells was his supervisor. Ms. Wells said about him that he was a diligent man that was doing whatever was needed from cooking on the grill to taking out the trash. He had been working there since last summer.
His colleagues also recalled that he was a very helpful person and a nice colleague to have around. He used to talk a lot about his seven kids. Ms. Wells also said that the man was her “big teddy bear.”
Ms. Wells alerted the police after the man didn’t show up at work for several days. He used to phone her and announce when he couldn’t make it, but since Saturday nobody saw him or knew about his whereabouts.
On Monday afternoon, the police found what really happened. Bystanders that learned about the tragedy in one way or another were also distressed. They quietly witnessed how the police removed the eight bodies from their home. Drivers also stopped close to the house to learn more details on the incident.
Officials announced that a team of counselors will visit Somerset County Public Schools this week to counsel grieving students and help them cope with their colleagues’ tragic death.
Mr. Keller announced that it was premature to provide details on the real cause of death since the Chief Medical Examiner in Baltimore had an ongoing investigation. However, there was no foul play involved in the incident, according to the police.
The police spokesperson also disclosed that several police officers were dispatched to the Antioch Avenue, after Ms. Wells announced the department that her co-worker was missing from work, didn’t answered phone calls, and hadn’t told her that he would be missing.
At about 1 p.m., the police managed to enter the house. They first entered kitchen were a gas generator had completely run out of fuel. The home also lacked electricity, but no one could tell for how long that happened.
However, everybody’s feeling was that something terribly wrong happened from the first foot they set in the house.
“They knew right away that there weren’t any live people in there,”
Chief Keller said.
The police didn’t provide any further details.
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