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Police believe carbon-monoxide poisoning to blame for two deaths in N. Tyler

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TYLER, TX (KLTV) -

Tyler police say that they do not suspect foul play in the deaths of two individuals they had called "suspicious."

The bodies were found around 3 p.m. Tuesday afternoon at 1206 Albertson Avenue in north Tyler.

Authorities have confirmed that there were two deceased bodies inside the home, one male and one female.

Police have identified the deceased as 50-year-old Cynthia Pettigrew of Tyler and 49-year-old Johnathan Lydia. 

Tyler police are still calling this an open investigation, but they say they believe Pettigrew and Lydia died of carbon monoxide poisoning or a related death. They said it was discovered that the residents were operating a gasoline powered generator inside of the home.

Smith County Precinct 1 Justice of the Peace Quincy Beavers told us Tuesday night he believes their bodies may have been in the home for up to two days.

Pettigrew's family grew concerned that they hadn't seen her for several days. They arrived at her home Tuesday afternoon to see if she was ok.

"We came to her house and we started knocking and blowing on her door but nobody came to the door," said her niece, Yvette Hudson. "So something was telling me to twist the doorknob and I twisted the doorknob and I pushed the door in and I saw my auntie was laying on the floor with this man. This man was laying on top of her."

"When we arrived at the scene today we located two bodies inside the house. Inside the house we also located a gasoline-powered generator that they had been using for power inside of the residence," said Tyler Police Sergeant Paul Robeson. "Based on what we located inside the house and the generator being inside the house there, it was being used to power electrical devices. It's believed that they succumbed to carbon monoxide poisoning from that generator."

All afternoon long, family members and friends gathered on Albertson Avenue, remembering the woman they called their "auntie."

"She was just good. She was a great auntie. She was a wonderful auntie, somebody you'd want to see every day, have in your prayers every day," said her nephew, Ross Hudson. "She'd make you laugh. She'd bring joy to the table. She'll be missed."

Police are certain that there was no foul play involved in their deaths.

"There is no physical evidence to lead us to believe that anything other than carbon monoxide poisoning or something along those lines," Robeson said.

Tyler police said they believe they can rule out any possibility of suicide and homicide. Their bodies will be taken to Dallas for autopsies.

Pettigrew's family confirmed that she lived alone at the home where the bodies were found and that she had lived there for approximately five months.


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