A family of 4 and their 3 dogs were found dead in their home. Police believe carbon-monoxide poisoning is to blame.

GoFundMeThe police in Genoa Township, Ohio, think the Reitter family died of carbon-monoxide poisoning.
  • A family of four and their three dogs were found dead in their home in Genoa Township, Ohio, on Thursday.
  • The family members have been identified as Richard Reitter III, 50; Jennifer Reitter, 49; Richard Reitter IV, 15; and Grace Reitter, 13.
  • The police said a relative had called to say that they hadn’t heard from the family in days and that they had complained of feeling sick.
  • Authorities said they detected unusually high levels of carbon monoxide in the home and are investigating what appears to be a case of carbon-monoxide poisoning.
  • Visit INSIDER’s homepage for more stories.

A family of four and their three dogs were found dead in their home in Genoa Township, Ohio, on Thursday. The police think the cause of death was carbon-monoxide poisoning.

The Genoa Township Police Department identified the family members as Richard Reitter III, 50; Jennifer Reitter, 49; Richard Reitter IV, 15; and Grace Reitter, 13.

In a statement on Facebook, the police said they made a wellness check on Thursday after a concerned relative called to say they hadn’t heard from the family of four since Monday and that they had complained of feeling sick.

Authorities said that though they are still waiting for the official medical report, they think the cause of death was carbon-monoxide poisoning.

“Once our personnel arrived on the scene, they suspected some sort of a carbon-monoxide incident,” Joseph Ponzi, the deputy chief of the Genoa Township Fire Department, said in a press conference on Friday.

Ponzi said that 30 parts per million is considered the harmful threshold for carbon monoxide but that a device that first responders used showed levels in the home of 1,000 ppm, as high as the device can register.

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Authorities who searched the home said they did not find any carbon-monoxide detectors.

“We cannot stress enough how important carbon-monoxide detectors are in your home, and we also stress the importance of having at least one on every level of your home,” Ponzi said.


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The Centres for Disease Control and Prevention describes carbon monoxide as “an odourless, colorless gas” that “can cause sudden illness and death.” Symptoms of carbon-monoxide poisoning can present like the flu but lead to a loss of consciousness or death.

In a post on Facebook, Holly Reitter mourned her family and warned people of the dangers of carbon monoxide.

“Please check and double check your detectors or order more if you need to. Life is too short,” she said. “Save your life and others by a simple gesture. RIP to my cousin and his family suddenly lost by this silent killer. Please share my awareness.”

The CDC recommends installing a battery-operated carbon-monoxide detector in your home and replacing the batteries when you change the clocks in the spring and fall.

A GoFundMe campaign was set up to help relatives cover “cremation, funeral, memorials, counseling and any other unforeseen expenses due to the sudden and shocking loss of their beloved family.” By Monday afternoon, the fundraiser had brought in over $US26,000 of its $US35,000 goal.

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