An immigrant family of seven found dead inside a Minnesota home last weekend died of carbon monoxide poisoning, police said Wednesday.
Four adults and three children were found dead on Dec. 18 inside their home in Moorhead, about three hours from Minneapolis. Local police had conducted a welfare check on the family after relatives reported they had not heard from them since Dec. 16.
During a news conference, the Moorhead Police Department announced the Ramsey County Medical Examiner’s Office had verified the cause of death through blood samples.
Police are still investigating, but believe the family was poisoned by either a furnace in the home or a running vehicle in the garage.
There was no indication of a malfunction of the furnace, according to police. But a van was found in the garage with a half-tank of gas. Police said it would take up to eight weeks to verify if hydrogen cyanine is present in the home, which would prove an exhaust leak was the cause of the carbon monoxide poisoning.
Moorhead Police Chief Shannon Monroe said “we have not found anything indicating any kind of criminal activity,” sending his condolences to the relatives of the family.
“We’ve not completed this investigation yet,” Monroe said, “but we know our community wants to know what happened in this tragic event with such a significant loss of life.”
The family moved from Honduras to the Minnesota city in 2013, according to Fox9.
The victims, according to The Star Tribune, are: Belin Hernandez, 37; Marleny Pinto, 34; Breylin Hernandez, 16; Mike Hernandez, 7; Marbely Hernandez, 5; Eldor Hernandez Castillo, 32; and Mariela Guzman Pinto, 19.