STANTON, Del. (CBS/AP) – Authorities believe four people found dead inside a tent at a homeless camp in Stanton on Tuesday may have died from carbon monoxide poisoning. Delaware State Police said in a statement yesterday that the four adult bodies were found in the woods off of Route 7 in the afternoon.
Police identified the victims as 62-year-old Joseph Messick, 36-year-old Sydney Messick, who’s relationship was uncle and nephew, 36-year-old Avelina Demato and 33-year-old Timothy Cunningham. There is no known relationship between Demato and Cunningham, nor with the Messick’s.
Bruce Messick, a family member of two of the victims, told The Delaware News Journal he went to check on his brother and nephew when he found the group dead inside a tent equipped with a propane heater.
Messick said his family members had been homeless for years and he often brought food and money to the them. The almost-full propane tank being used by the four victims to keep warm had recently been dropped off, he added, and temperatures below freezing had been recorded throughout the week.
Authorities said preliminary results show they may have died from carbon monoxide poisoning.
Temperatures below freezing had been recorded throughout the week.
No further information is available at this time.
© Copyright 2020 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.