Bodies of 2 parents, 3 children found in Utah home

SPRINGVILLE, Utah (AP) — Two parents and three of their children were found dead in a home near Provo, and authorities said early Sunday they were trying to determine the cause of the deaths.

The bodies were reported to officers in Springville about 8 p.m. MDT Saturday, police spokesman Lt. Dave Caron said. “Police secured the scene and checked to make sure it was safe to continue the investigation inside,” he said.  

“There were no obvious signs of trauma or foul play,” Caron said in a telephone interview early Sunday. “We didn’t see that when we first got there and we still don’t.” The spokesman also said that police don’t believe that there is any danger to the community.

The residence was a duplex and the people in the other half of the building were unharmed. The bodies were found by an older son and his two grandparents. No names were released but police gave the ages of the parents as mid-30s; a 14-year-old boy, a 12-year-old girl and an 11 year-old boy.

Caron said that firefighters tested the air and did not find any carbon monoxide, but added that the gas could have ventilated before the test. “When police arrived doors were open,” apparently left that way by relatives who found the bodies, he said.

“The actual cause of death is probably going to be determined by the medical examiner” he said. Springville borders on Provo’s southern boundary.

6 thoughts on “Bodies of 2 parents, 3 children found in Utah home

  1. Maybe they all went to McDonald’s for dinner. That would explain it for me.

    Wouldn’t they be somewhat blue in hue if monoxide were the culprit?

    1. No they wouldn’t be blue.
      The skin, especially under the nails, could be bright cherry red or even bright pinkish.
      CO displaces O2 on hemoglobin and binds very strongly.
      So even low levels of CO, given enough time, will kill you.

      1. From The Lancet, Volume 352, Issue 9134, page 1154, 3 October 1998: “Cherry-red discolouration of the skin and mucous membranes is an often-quoted sign of carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning.1 Even a veterinarian was reported to have suspected CO poisoning in a dog because of its “cherry-red conjunctivae”, after completing a first-aid course in caring for human beings.2 However, cherry-red discolouration in CO poisoning is quite rare: Gorman and colleagues3 report one case in a prospective survey of 100 patients… the term cherry-red is not unequivocal: while to most doctors it means bright red, to many it means cyanotic shades.”

        So yes, death due to CO poisoning would initially appear as a blue or dusky shade, i.e., cyanosis. Immediately following death, the blood starts to settle – livor mortis, a reddish purple shade of the skin over the most dependent parts of the body due to gravity’s pull on the blood – and the skin over non-dependent parts of the body becomes pale or waxy looking.

        From Mayo Medical Laboratories: “Carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning causes anoxia, because CO binds to hemoglobin with an affinity 240 times greater than that of oxygen, thus preventing delivery of oxygen to the tissues. Twenty percent saturation of hemoglobin induces symptoms (headache, fatigue, dizziness, confusion, nausea, vomiting, increased pulse, and respiratory rate). Sixty percent saturation is usually fatal. This concentration is reached when there is 1 part CO per 1,000 parts air.”

      2. (cont’d)

        “Reference Values
        Normal Concentration
        Non-Smokers: 0-2%
        Smokers: less than or = 9%
        Toxic concentration: greater than or = 20%”

        1. I researched it a little more as I haven’t seen very many cases of CO poisoning.
          The clinical literature seems to say we both are correct.
          The lips and face may appear cherry red. Much brighter red than “normal”.
          I’ve seen it a few times and it was striking. But, then again, I made my living keeping people adequately oxygenated and looking at their skin and lip color.
          The peripheral tissues including nail beds may be cyanotic (dark blueish to purple) in CO poisoning.
          I can say with considerable experience that people who are suffering from lack of oxygen (not from CO poisoning) become cyanotic (blue)…especially the lips. I’ve seen it many, many times.
          They never, ever look more bright red than normal.
          Bottom line? It sure can’t hurt to give somebody still alive 100% oxygen until the lab numbers come back.

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