Carbon monoxide deaths ‘accidental’

Sunday, March 14, 2004 | 12:00 a.m. CST; updated 12:10 a.m. CDT, Sunday, July 13, 2008

The deaths of the two Columbia women and a 10-year-old girl were classified as accidental Friday after police said they found no sign of foul play.

The Columbia Police Department issued a press release stating that


PELAGIA CUELLAR and a mother and daughter died of carbon monoxide poisoning in Cuellar's home.

Pelagia “Peggy” Cuellar’s car had been running inside her closed garage for “quite some time,” causing carbon monoxide to accumulate within the house and the garage, which was located under the residence.

It appeared that the car had been left on accidentally, although it was no longer running when police arrived at the residence, located in the 2500 block of Primrose.

Upon arrival, police found Cuellar, 75, dead in her bedroom. They also found Lea Alcomendas Camposano, 34, and her daughter, Rosalie “Shane” Camposano, 10, dead in a separate bedroom.

After the autopsies were performed, Medical Examiner Eddie Adelstein stated that the three had been dead for more than 12 hours from carbon monoxide poisoning.

Carbon monoxide detectors have improved over past decade

Columbia Fire Department Battalion Chief Steve Sapp said the number of calls concerning carbon monoxide have dropped in the past 10 years, because carbon monoxide detectors have “improved immensely” since coming onto the market in the 1990s.

The three women’s deaths last week served as the most recent reminder of the dangers of odorless and tasteless carbon monoxide.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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