Carbon monoxide poisoning suspected to be the cause of elderly couple’s death

Posted at 10:14 PM, Feb 05, 2015
and last updated 2015-02-05 22:34:57-05

BLUE LAKE TOWNSHIP, Mich.— An elderly couple were found dead in their home Thursday night in Blue Lake Township.

“Some family members found a husband and wife couple deceased in the house, an apparent carbon monoxide poisoning,” said Sgt. Michael Herremans of the Muskegon County Sheriff’s Department.

The family told authorities that the couple were having issues with their heating system for quite some time now, but this was something the family did not expect. The couple was discovered by family members around 5 p.m. Thursday.  Police say they had been dead for two to four days before they were found.

The victims have been identified as Joseph Wayne Jurecki and Barbara Jean Jurecki, officials said.

Carbon dioxide is odorless, colorless, and potentially deadly. According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, on average over 170 people die per year from carbon monoxide.

“When the fire department got here and checked the house, it was 70 parts per million, which is pretty high,” said Sgt. Herremans.

Family told the sheriff’s department both the heating systems and pipes may be to blame. “The family said they’ve tried venting it a different way out the window because of the condensation getting caught in the vent pipe. It’s been freezing up the pipe that was venting out the furnace,” said Sgt. Herremans.

Authorities believe that led to their deaths, and police are unsure of the time of death. Neighbors say they saw the couple getting the mail earlier in the week. Police are not releasing the names of the couple until all family is notified.

Authorities urge you to call your fire department to check carbon monoxide levels if you are feeling groggy or getting headaches.