Delmarva Power has received a lot of backlash following the death of a family of eight who died of accidental carbon monoxide poisoning with many suspected they cut off the power due to the family being behind on their utility bills.
However, Delmarva Power disputed these claims on Tuesday saying that they did not cuff off the power to the family but in fact discovered a stolen electric meter had been illegally connected to the rental home. The meter was disconnected for safety reasons on March 25, spokesman Matt Likovich said.
— Trending Deaths (@Obitolizer) April 7, 2015
Rodney Todd, his two sons and five daughters then used a generator for power, WBAL News reported. They were last seen alive on March 28, 2015.
Rodney Todd, a 36-year-old divorced kitchen worker, was accidentally poisoned by carbon monoxide from the gas-powered generator the family had been using after their electricity was turned off, Princess Anne Police Chief Scott Keller said Tuesday.
He said Delmarva Power had been subpoenaed to document exactly what happened to lead to this tragic incident.
“I’m just numb. Like it’s a nightmare but it’s not,” the children’s mother, Tyisha Luneice Chambers, told The Associated Press on Tuesday. “If I had known he was without electricity, I would have helped.”
Police responding to a missing persons report discovered the eight bodies Monday at the one-story wood-frame home on Maryland’s Eastern Shore after school workers, friends and Todd’s supervisor at work had knocked on the door and did not receive a response.
“The children were all in beds and it appears as though they were sleeping,” Keller told the Associated Press. “Probably it was bedtime and they decided they needed some light and probably some heat, because toward the end of March even though it was spring we were having some pretty chilly nights.”
As it turns out, the rental property never had legal power to begin with while the Todd family lived there, the utility said. Electric service had been disconnected in October, and there was no request to reconnect it after the Todd family moved into the home in November.
“Through the use of smart meter technology, Delmarva Power discovered a stolen electric meter was being used at the home on March 25, 2015. Delmarva Power disconnected the illegally connected meter for safety reasons and to comply with standard protocol. Delmarva Power did not disconnect electric service at this address for nonpayment,” the statement said.