Elkhart couple’s cause, manner of deaths to be determined

The Sheriff's Department continues to investigate the deaths of two peoplein Baugo Township.
Posted on July 8, 2013 at 1:00 a.m. | Updated on July 8, 2013 at 5:14 p.m.

ELKHART — Officials have not yet determined the cause or manner of death of a couple that was found dead in their residence last week.

Karen Kletka, deputy coroner, said a toxicology test was ordered for Mitchell Rider and Jamie Hooker, both 28, who were found dead in their home, located at 56788 Shore Ave., early Thursday afternoon, July 4.

Early indications in the investigation suggest carbon monoxide poisoning as a factor in their deaths, but the coroner’s office is still waiting for toxicology test results to rule the cause and manner of death.

Kletka said the coroner’s office usually receives toxicology test results after 10 to 12 work days. The coroner’s office did not order an autopsy.

According to the Associated Press, relatives said 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 after police arrived.

Neighbors said they did not realize anything was wrong until police cars and ambulances arrived at the Baugo Township home. The neighbors said the couple had two dogs and two macaws. All the pets were found dead in the house.

Capt. Jim Bradberry of the Elkhart County Sheriff’s Department said they continue to investigate the deaths and he can not share more details. The sheriff’s department is working with the coroner’s office on the investigation and is waiting on the coroner’s office ruling.

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