Bt:Atle Erlingsson, Reporter
Neighbors have been gathering around outside for most of the day in awe of what has happened. The victims — 34-year-old Joel Wood, his 35-year-old wife Stephanie, their 13-year-old daughter Kaela Christensen, along with the family’s six pets all died Thursday — victims of carbon monoxide poisoning.
The coroner wheeled the bodies out one by one — the mother and daughter, then the father. In clear plastic bags, animal control officers collected the family’s pets — three dogs, two cats, and one chinchilla. An entire household was victimized by a gas generator in their garage.
Nevada Power confirms it disconnected power to the family’s home Wednesday, although for privacy reasons can’t specify why. Investigators say the Woods laid an extension cord from the generator into the living room to power the TV. But as the generator ran, carbon monoxide filled the home killing everyone inside.
Tim Szymanski with the Las Vegas Fire Department said, “The mom and daughter were found by the television set downstairs. The dad was found upstairs in a bedroom.”
It is an accident that has neighbors in a state of shock. Neighbor Skye Mazourek’s daughter is in eighth grade — the same as 13-year-old Kaela. He commented, “To see it so close to home really makes you think about things, ya know?”
He remembers groups of kids playing outside the Wood’s home. “They always had a lot of kids playing out front. I would always see the chalk drawings on the ground and stuff too. It’s just crazy.”
There are no chalk drawings on the sidewalk now, just police tape outside the home. As emergency crews console the victims’ extended family, nearby residents are left asking how this silent killer was able to take the lives of three of their neighbors.