NEWARK, N.J. (CBSNewYork) — Two people were found dead in the garage of a New Jersey apartment building from apparent carbon monoxide poisoning.
A heartbroken family consoled each other after learning that 41-year-old Tamika Hargrave and a man who has not yet been identified were found dead inside a running car inside her closed garage.
“This is shocking really,” her father told CBS2’s Natalie Duddridge. “Surprise.”
“I don’t know what I’m going to do without her,” her mother said. “She was everything to me. She was my world.”
Newark police say shortly after 8 p.m. Monday, they got a call about two sick people inside the garage at the complex at 18th and Fairview Avenues. When they arrived, they say a woman and man were unconscious and pronounced dead.
Authorities say it’s still under investigation, but it appears to be accidental.
“We want to know why — what was she doing in the car?” said family friend Kelly Mitchell. “We don’t know.”
Hargrave’s mother said she had just talked to her daughter a few hours before.
“Around 5:30 she said she was going to AutoZone to get the oil filter from her mechanic to put it on,” she said.
A few hours later, Hargrave’s two daughters said they got an emergency call from their father and rushed home, but it was too late.
“I just talked to my mother today at 4:56. I received a phone call at 8:43 so less than four hours that I received a phone call that my mother’s not here,” said daughter Shaquayah Hargrave.
“I just want my mother back. I want her to see me graduate high school. I can’t do that,” daughter Khalisha Johnson said. “They have cameras and stuff. Why can’t they get smoke detectors? We could have stopped this right here. My mother could still be alive.”
Newark officials have not said exactly how many others were sickened but residents say they saw at least one other person taken away on a stretcher. They say they have complained before about non-functioning carbon monoxide and fire detectors, Duddridge reported. CBS2 has reached out the building’s management, but has not yet received a response.
The Essex County Prosecutor’s Office continues to investigate. Newark fire officials are also checking all units in the building to make sure they have working detectors.