4 family members likely died of CO poisoning, Idaho coroner says
Mon, 24 Feb 2014 19:54

POCATELLO, Idaho — Four people were found dead in their home Sunday night from what appears to have been carbon monoxide poisoning.

Relatives went to check on Bill and Ross Parrish and their youngest sons, 14-year old Keegan and 12-year old Liam, after they failed to attend a traditional Sunday dinner.

Members of the family had not answered messages earlier in the day and were not at church Sunday morning.

“So (Bill’s) little sister and her husband went up to the home and found there was a reason they hadn’t shown up,” said Craig Parrish, Bill’s cousin.

Bill Parrish was a dentist on the Fort Hall Indian Reservation. Craig Parrish said his cousin was active and well known in the community.

Ross Parrish was a full-time mother. On her Facebook page, she posted a picture of her husband saying, “This is my favorite person in the whole world.”

“They could not have cared more for each other, and it showed in everything that they did,” Craig Parrish said.

He said the couple also loved their four children.

Keegan was a ninth-grader at Highland High School in Pocatello. Liam was in the sixth-grade at Franklin Middle School.

A spokeswoman for the Pocatello/Chubbuck School District said counselors had been made available for students Monday.

Craig Parrish said he’s struggling to understand the loss of such young lives. They were “two little boys that just had all the potential in the world, all of the opportunity to be things that their parents had been before them,” he said.

The family is now focusing on the couple’s surviving children: a son and daughter, both currently serving missions for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. The missionaries will be flying home Tuesday.

Relatives said there’s no shortage of love and support for them.

“Even though they’re not coming home to the home they left, they’ll be coming home to lots of homes, people fighting to be a part of their lives,” Craig Parrish said.

Pocatello police are still investigating the deaths, but Bannock County Coroner Kim Quick said the preliminary cause of death was CO poisoning. He said the family died between 11 p.m. Saturday and 1 a.m. Sunday.

Quick said significant amounts of the odorless and tasteless gas, known as “the silent killer,” were detected in the home and improper venting in a water heater may be to blame.

Quick and Parrish relatives hope others will learn from this tragedy.

“We know for sure that if they had had the detectors there, maybe we could have avoided it,” Craig Parrish said.

The funerals are being planned for Friday.

Problem:  defective water heater flue