Creston family died from water heater gas leak, Mexican official says

29 March, 2018, 02:02 | Author: Roderick Gutierrez
  • Gas inhalation blamed for death of Iowa family visiting Mexico

The prosecutors' office in the Caribbean coast state of Quintana Roo said that "the cause of death was asphyxiation from inhaling toxic gases".

The water heater was leaking gas, "maybe from use or lack of maintenance", said Miguel Angel Pech, head prosecutor of Quintana Roo.

Over the weekend, Mexican authorities said the family was killed by "asphyxia by inhalation of toxic gases", although they didn't say what type of gas had killed them and had not identified the source. By the time they were discovered, the family appeared to have been dead for 36 to 48 hours, the state attorney general's office in Quintana Roo said. At the time, they did not release the source of the gas.

Photos published by the prosecutor's office show firemen in respirators and other authorities in anti-contamination suits examining gas connections and the unit's oven.

On Monday morning, the family was working on finalizing funeral arrangements and returning the bodies of the Sharp family to Iowa.

They were expected to return from their vacation Wednesday and extended family members reported them missing to local police, who contacted the U.S. State Department, after initially suspecting they had missed their flight home.

When police went to do a welfare check, they found the parents and their two children deceased inside of thee condo.


The Sharp family, a couple and two children, flew to Cancun from their hometown of Creston, Iowa, last Thursday and drove to a condo in Tulum, Mexico.

The Sharps' family members chose to wait for the last flight from Cancun to St. Louis to arrive on Thursday in case the Sharps had just planned to stay an extra day, Weland told ABC News. It pinged in Mexico, Hoyt told the Creston News Advertiser.

On Sunday, hundreds gathered around the infield at VFW Field in Creston to mourn and to celebrate the lives of a the Sharp family, according to the Creston newspaper.

"Creston is close-knit like all small towns in Iowa", he added.

Weland said the family hopes to hold the funeral at Southwestern Community College.

The gas that killed the family hasn't yet been determined but firefighters have launched an investigation.

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