Hamilton, OH – By Ken-Yon Hardy, Journal News – A married couple was found dead — with a possible linkage to carbon monoxide poisoning — in a north side Hamilton residence by their landlord Monday evening.

As of Monday night, police did not release the names of the couple. However, landlord Tim Stieg said the bodies were those of Jim and Jeanie Ballew, a couple in their early 30s living in the apartment.

Around 6 p.m., Stieg said he went to 422 N. Third St. to check on the couple because a family member called and was worried.

“When we I got here, they didn’t answer the door. And I looked through that window,” said Stieg. “I could see them laying there. That’s when I called the police.

“The fireman busted open the front door and that’s when you could really smell the kerosene.”

Stieg said that a working furnace was in the home, but did not know if the couple utilized the heater.

“As far as I know the furnace was working,” he said. “But if they didn’t have their utilities on or if they were turned off, I don’t know.”

Around 9 p.m., the Butler County Coroner’s office removed the bodies.

The couple had been renting from Stieg since August 2004 and Stieg said he had known the male since he was a child.

“My guess is that they fell asleep with the kerosene heater on,” said Stieg. “I’ve known him since he was a young child and he was a very nice man. It bothers me deeply.”

Attempts to contact the Hamilton Police Department, the Hamilton Fire Department and the Butler County Coroner’s Office were unsuccessful Monday night.