Published: Wed, April 12, 2017
U.S. | By Eddie Scott

Coroner: Carbon monoxide killed teens found in auto in St. Charles

Coroner: Carbon monoxide killed teens found in auto in St. Charles

Two 18-year-olds found unresponsive inside a parked vehicle last month in west suburban St. Charles died of carbon monoxide poisoning, which police believe to be accidental.

Russell says that toxicology results showed elevated Carbon Monoxide levels in the auto.

At 8:08 a.m. March 16, the St. Charles Police and Fire departments responded to a call of a suspicious vehicle parked in the 0-99 block of North 17th Street.

Police officers found 18-year-old Kody Dietrich and his girlfriend, 18-year-old Elizabeth Donoso, from Racine, Wisconsin in an auto off Randall Rd on the morning of March 16th.

Emergency personnel began life-saving measures on both Dietrich and Donoso before taking them to Delnor Hospital in Geneva where they were pronounced dead, according to authorities.

Investigators conducted a test with the vehicle with the assistance of the St. Charles Fire Department and after 35 minutes with the engine running, tests indicated Carbon Monoxide levels of 1180 PPM, which is an extremely risky level, according to authorities.

Police say the Camry's manifold was not connected to the exhaust tailpipe, allowing potentially deadly gas to empty into the engine compartment.

"This was the result of recent do-it-yourself work performed on the auto", police said in a news release issued Tuesday. Anything over 30 ppm is considered too hazardous.

At the time of their deaths, police reported no signs of obvious trauma, foul play or drugs.

The flaw doesn't appear to have caused a problem while driving, most likely because air flow kept exhaust out of the vehicle, Kintz said.

Investigators believe Dietrich and Donoso were in a relationship but did not know for how long, Kintz initially told The Courier-News.

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