4 adults, 3 children found in a Minnesota home killed by carbon monoxide poisoning

Most of the dead were in their beds at a home in Moorhead, near Fargo, on Saturday night after family members could not reach them.

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Seven family members, including three children, were found dead in a Minnesota home on Saturday night from carbon monoxide poisoning, police said on Wednesday.

The victims, two parents, their three children, an uncle and a niece of the parents, were found in a house in Moorhead just before 8 p.m. Most were in their beds, said Chief of Police Shannon Monroe.

On Wednesday, police received blood test results "indicating a dangerous level of carbon monoxide," the police department said in a statement.

"We have not found any evidence of any kind of criminal activity," Monroe told a news conference.

There are two known sources of carbon monoxide in the home, which were rented - a fireplace in the garage room, and a garage van that was not working and had half a gas tank and a dead battery, Monroe said.

More tests are under way to determine if there is a hydrogen cyanide, which could be a vehicle exhaust, a police official said.

Investigators are focusing on the furnace right now, because in some cases where cars are left running to create a deadly amount of carbon monoxide they are often found to be gas-free, Monroe said.

The deceased were identified as Belin Hernandez, 37, and his wife, Marleny Pinto, 34; their children, Breylin, 16, Mike, 7, and Marbely, 5; Hernandez's brother Eldor Hernandez Castillo, 32; and niece of the parents Mariela Guzman Pinto, 19.

There was a carbon monoxide detector at home, but it was inside the laundry cabinet with the battery removed, Monroe said. He said some of the machines were just smoke.

Officials have insisted that the effective carbon monoxide detector should be within 10 meters of sleeping quarters, and if the integrated detection device is replaced, it should be replaced with one that receives both.

They should be inspected monthly and replaced every five to seven years, said acting Fire Chief Jeff Wallin. There was a carbon monoxide detector at home, but it was inside the laundry cabinet with the battery removed, Monroe said. He said some of the machines were just smoke.

"The entire community sympathizes with the family," said Mayor Michelle Carlson.