Sheriff: 4 marking milestones likely died of carbon monoxide

AP News
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Posted: Jul 18, 2015 3:46 PM

BYRON, Maine (AP) — Four young people celebrating a birthday and a graduation at a cabin in Maine likely died of carbon monoxide poisoning hours after their arrival earlier this week, a sheriff said Saturday.

The victims, ranging in age from 18 to 23, were likely overcome by the fumes from a generator that was left running in the basement after they arrived from Massachusetts on Tuesday, Oxford County Sheriff Wayne Gallant said.

The bodies of Brooke Wakelin, 21, and Keith Norris, 23, both of Attleboro; and Wakelin's brother, Matthew Wakelin, 18, and his friend, Deanna Lee Powers, 22, both of Mansfield, were found Friday night. The Wakelins' father discovered the bodies, Gallant said.

"More than likely it happened the first night there," he said.

The generator in the basement was powering a refrigerator, Gallant said.

"It's a shocking and terrible reminder to people that carbon monoxide is dangerous," he said. "You never have a generator in the house."

Gallant said the victims drove to the camp Tuesday to celebrate Matthew Wakelin's graduation and Brooke Wakelin's 22nd birthday, which would have been Saturday.

A medical examiner was running tests to confirm the cause of death, Gallant said.

Two of the victims were found in a downstairs bedroom, Gallant said. The other two were found in separate bedrooms upstairs.

A phone listing for the Wakelin family rang unanswered Saturday. No listings could immediately be located for Norris or Powers.