Four people were found dead from suspected carbon monoxide poisoning in a New York City home Friday. The gas was released after a car was left running in the home's garage, according to reports. The victims included 83-year-old Jerry Hugel, his wife 80-year-old Marie Hugel, 70-year-old Gloria Greco, and another 76-year-old person who has not been identified yet.
The couple’s son Robert Hugel discovered the bodies when he came to visit them at the house because they did not answer the phone. Jerry Hugel was found next to the running car in the garage, according to the Associated Press (AP), which added that police officials have not found anything suspicious with the incident so far. The Hugels have five children including Robert who works with the Technical Assistance and Response Unit of the New York Police Department.
Authorities believe that the death was an accident and not a suicide or a crime.
“He (Robert Hugel) could not get in touch with his parents, so he went over there to the house,” a police official told the New York Times, adding: “It does not appear to be criminal. It appears to be accidental at this point. It’s a shame.”
Marie was found in the kitchen in the basement while guest Gloria Greco was found dead upstairs in the two-story brick house. Another friend was found in a living room on the first floor, according to the Times. Jerry was reportedly a well-known beer salesman and the couple belonged to a Bavarian dance group.
"They were wonderful people," Helga Harter, a neighbor who had known the couple well, said tearfully, according to the AP, adding: "They were married for 60 years."
Myrna Dominicci, a 60-year-old nurse and neighbor, said that they were the “nicest people that you could ever meet,” the Wall Street Journal reported.
“We watch out for each other, but obviously there was something wrong,” Dominicci reportedly said, adding: “Maybe they didn’t have the right equipment in the house. ... Maybe we’ve got to go to every single house and check to see if they do have that.”
Earlier this week, a mother and her 6-year-old daughter died at their home in New Jersey, due to carbon monoxide poisoning. They had been using a gas generator because their electricity had been cut for non-payment, NBC News reported.