UPDATE: Police release cause of death of seven people found in Moorhead home

Two friends of seven people whose bodies were found in a Moorhead, Minn., home comfort each...
Two friends of seven people whose bodies were found in a Moorhead, Minn., home comfort each other next to seven wreaths that were left outside the residence on Monday, Dec. 20, 2021. Police say four adults and three children died but they have not released the cause of their deaths. Relatives say they still have more questions than answers about what happened. (AP Photo/Dave Kolpack)(Dave Kolpack | AP)
Published: Dec. 22, 2021 at 10:34 PM CST
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MOORHEAD, Minn. (KVLY) – Moorhead Police released there were lethal amounts of carbon monoxide found in the seven people who died at a family home in Moorhead this past weekend.

People typically don’t know carbon monoxide is a problem in their home until they have symptoms.

This can result in majority of people dying in their sleep from exposure, and all ages can be at risk.

“The victims were all found in their beds, excluding two, the mother and father, who were in the bedroom area,” says Moorhead Police Chief Shannon Monroe.

The two possible contributors to the family on Saturday were a van in the garage and the furnace.

Further work needs to be done by a separate lab to see if there is any hydrogen cyanide, which comes from a vehicle’s exhaust.

“If this is not present, this leaves the furnace. This may take eight weeks before we have any results,” says Chief Monroe.

Poison Control says with high amounts of C0, it can take just five minutes to be deadly.

People may mistake their symptoms for the beginning of a cold or the flu

“If you start getting that light-headed, nauseous, dizzy, anything like that. Call and we’ll come out with equipment and test it for you,” says Chief Monroe.

No issues were found with detectors during the last building inspection of the Moorhead home in September of last year.

Upon investigating, the carbon monoxide sensor was found to not be working.

Rental, residential properties in Fargo and Moorhead are required to have carbon monoxide detectors.

“This was a fairly new construction. A carbon monoxide detector was required within 10 feet of the bedrooms by code,” says Chief Monroe.

Basic carbon monoxide detectors are just over $20 at area hardware stores.

“Detectives did find a carbon monoxide detector in a cabinet with a battery removed,” says Chief Monroe.

Moorhead Fire recommends replacing your carbon monoxide detector every seven years, while also testing it, and replacing the batteries every six months.

“The only test that can truly be done with a carbon monoxide detector is pressing and activating the button which will simulate a high C0 alarm and see if the detector will sound at that there. There really isn’t a good independent test that residents can do with their detectors,” says Moorhead Fire Chief Jeff Wallin.


MOORHEAD, Minn. (AP) -- Authorities are investigating the deaths of several people whose bodies were discovered inside a home in a northwestern Minnesota city.

The bodies were discovered in the Moorhead residence just before 8 p.m. Saturday by family members conducting a welfare check.

Those family members called police.

Moorhead police have not said how many people were killed or how they died.

There were no signs of violence or forced entry into the residence. Neighbors told WDAY-TV that several children lived in the home.

Moorhead is located on the Minnesota border next to Fargo, North Dakota. Police say they don’t expect to release more details until Monday.

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