A father and his seven children were found dead in their home in Maryland after being poisoned with carbon monoxide during their sleep. Police chief Princess Anne states that the police are doing everything they can to figure out what could have been done to hinder this numerous family from suffering such horrible deaths.
Rodney Todd, a divorced kitchen worker, whose income was merely a drop in the ocean and hardly enough to support his seven children (five girls aged 6 to 15 and two boys aged 13 and 7), had his electricity cut off due to the fact that he was unable to pay for it. Thus, the family was using a generator to heat up. Apparently, the generator broke and released carbon monoxide that intoxicated the eight residents of the rental home. After the police examined the bodies, they concluded that the family must have been dead for about seven days, i.e. since the 28th of March. The death was reported by Todd’s supervisor, Stephanie Wells, who decided to pay him a visit, since he hadn’t shown up for work.
Given the circumstances and the evidence, the police have almost completely ruled out murder in this case. They are, however, investigating the steps that the electric company (Delmarva Power) took before disconnecting the home from electricity. It seems that the family had been using a stolen electric meter and – following standard protocol – the company decided to cut off their power. Even if the representatives of the company claim they encourage people who are unable to pay their bills to seek guidance and that there are certain options available that could help them out, Todd did not do this, for unknown reasons. Nevertheless, the company states that there is evidence of him applying for assistance regarding utility bills in the previous years. Todd’s home didn’t appear to be registered in the company’s documents as being connected legally to electricity and that it hadn’t been so since October. The reason for this is Todd’s precarious financial situation that did not allow him to clock up to pay bills every month. The generator must have looked like an easy-to-reach solution to the problem of keeping warm during cold nights.
His family and close friends regard him as a loving father who did everything he could to put food on the table for his children, for whom he obtained custody after his divorce last year.
There are voices who blame the electric company for ruthlessly cutting off electricity over legal matters. However, it is highly improbable they will take responsibility for these deaths.
Image Source: Baltimore Sun