Carbon monoxide kills two in Janesville

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July 9, 2009
— The couple who died Tuesday of carbon monoxide poisoning owned a carbon monoxide detector, but it wasn't plugged in, a Rock Count official said.

Perry D. Carson, 82, and Jeanne E. Carson, 80, were found dead around 7:40 p.m. Tuesday in separate bedrooms in their home at 4421 N. Polaris Parkway in Harmony Township.

The two were husband and wife.

They appeared to have been sleeping with the car running in the closed, attached garage, said Capt. Todd Christiansen, who leads the Rock County Sheriff's Office detective division.

"Everything was shut up," Christiansen said. "The house was secured."

Detectives have found no indication of foul play or of a crime, Christiansen said. Nor did detectives see indication of suicide, Christiansen said.

"We are considering this an accident," he said.

The home smelled like vehicle fumes when emergency responders arrived, but the carbon monoxide levels were no longer lethal, he said.

The car was not running when authorities arrived, although the key was still in the "on" position and the car still had gas in the tank, Christiansen said.

Mechanics speculate the car had run out of oxygen, he said.

"Because it was a smaller garage and pretty tight, the car wasn't able to keep running," Christiansen said.

The couple could have been dead for a day or two before they were found by a family member, he said.

Detectives noticed a couple days' worth of mail in the mailbox.

The couple's yellow Lab also was found dead, Christiansen said.

Detectives do not know why the Carsons' carbon monoxide detector was unplugged. He urged residents to use a detector if they have one.

"If you have a carbon monoxide detector, by all means, use it," he said.

An autopsy was scheduled for Wednesday. The incident still is under investigation.

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