Carbon monoxide poisoning is suspected in the deaths of a southern Maryland father and his seven children, according to The New York Times.

The father, Rodney Eric Todd, 36, reportedly connected a generator for heat after the family’s electricity was shut off over an outstanding bill at their home in Princess Anne, Maryland, the report says.

The father and the children, ages 6 to 16, were discovered Monday after Todd failed to show up at his job as a utility worker at the nearby University of Maryland Eastern Shore, according to news reports.

From The New York Times:

Officials said a gas generator that was found in the home and out of fuel might have been the source of the carbon monoxide.

The Associated Press reported that Bonnie and Lloyd Edwards, who identified themselves as the dead man’s mother and stepfather, said that Delmarva Power had cut off the electricity to the house because of an outstanding bill and that the generator was being used for heat.

“To keep his seven children warm,” Mr. Todd bought a generator, Mr. Edwards said. “It went out, and the carbon monoxide consumed them.”

Friends and neighbors say Todd worked hard to make ends meet for his family, struggling to buy birthday gifts for his children, but making sure to buy them cakes, writes the New York Daily News.

Todd’s mother, Bonnie Edwards, identified the children as boys Cameron Todd, 13, and Zycheim Todd, 7; and girls Tynijuiza Todd, 15; Tykira Todd, 12; Tybree Todd, 10; Tyania Todd, 9; and Tybria Todd, 6.

“I don’t know anyone his age who would have done what he did” for his children,” Bonnie Edwards said. “I was so proud to say he took care of seven kids.”

His supervisor, Stephanie Wells, said she filed a missing person report with police because she hadn’t seen Todd since March 28. She knocked on his door Monday morning and no one answered, she said.

May Todd and his children rest in peace.

SOURCE: The New York Times, New York Daily News | VIDEO: NDN

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