Officials confirm Baugo Township couple’s cause of death

Officals have confirmed a couple found dead in their Baugo home died of carbon monoxide poisoning.
Posted on July 15, 2013 at 1:00 a.m. | Updated on July 15, 2013 at 4:11 p.m.

ELKHART — The investigation is continuing, but officials have confirmed a couple found dead in their Baugo Township home July 4 died of carbon monoxide poisoning.

John White, Elkhart County coroner, said his office is still waiting on toxicology test results and police is still investigating the incident to determine Mitchell Rider and Jamie Hooker’s manner of death.

Rider and Hooker were found dead inside their home at 56788 Shore Ave. at about 12:30 p.m. July 4. Officials initially said their evidence suggested carbon monoxide poisoning was a factor in their deaths, but they were waiting on a final ruling from the coroner’s office.

White explained the levels of carbon monoxide were enough to kill Rider and Hooker, as well as their pets - two dogs and two macaws.

To determine Rider and Hooker’s cause of death, a test was performed to determine the percentage of carbon monoxide in a person’s blood, White said.

Any percentages higher than 40 percent are considered toxic. Both Hooker and Rider were found to have slightly more than 80 percent in their blood, White said.

White confirmed an earlier report that Rider’s father went to check the house when he couldn’t get in touch with his son and found a car running in the garage. Rider’s father called 911 before collapsing and was taken to the hospital.

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