Case closed in Kirksville deaths

File photo

The families and friends of the five adults and two children found dead in a Kirksville home in December now know how their loved ones died.

Officials with the Kirksville Fire and Police Department released the details Tuesday of the investigation and autopsies. After three months of work, they have ruled the deaths accidental due to carbon monoxide poisoning.

A 911 call is just a small part of the case revealed as Kirksville authorities closed the investigation.

Final autopsy and toxicology results list Accidental Carbon Monoxide Poisoning as the cause of death for all victims: Maranda McDermott, the renter of the home; two of her three children, Melina and Adam; and friends Phillip Scruggs, Rachel Findling, Reginald Washington and Jeremy Liner.

Kirksville Police Chief Jim Hughes says that carbon monoxide came from a mini van belonging to Maranda Mc Dermott, that was left running in the attached garage.

Hughes said, "We didn't detect any evidence of foul play and we did not find anyone other than the victims present during the time in question."

Investigators say text messaging between the friends at the house here at 704 Erin Place to friends all over the area helped showed that up until 3:43 in the morning everyone in the home was fine.

But when all seven victims were found on Dec. 17, their blood was more than 60 percent saturated with carbon monoxide. Fifty percent causes death.

Chief Hughes did say marijuana was found inside the home, but he says it played no part in the deaths.

Hughes also released a sketch of where all the victims were found inside the home. Hughes said three of the five adults in this sketch were completely naked, another was partially nude and the remaining was fully clothed.

We spoke with several family members of the victims after the official police briefing. They told us this information doesn't bring them closure to this tragic end because they'll never know what really happened inside this home. But they say they are glad to know some details about how their loved ones died.

Police also performed a re-enactment of the accident, using the same van in the same garage. Using this re-enactment, investigators were able to confirm the van was able to produce the large amounts of carbon monoxide that killed the victims.

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