BYRON, Maine — The names of the four young people from Massachusetts found dead in a remote Oxford County cabin Friday night in what police say is a “tragic” carbon monoxide poisoning have been released by Sheriff Wayne Gallant.
Brooke Wakelin, 21, of Attleboro, Massachusetts, her brother, Matthew, 18, of Mansfield, Massachusetts, Keith Norris, 23, of Attleboro, Massachusetts, and Deanna Powers, 22, of Mansfield, Massachusetts, were found dead in the Wakelin family cabin by deputies responding to a 911 call placed at 8:34 p.m., the sheriff said.
“She would have been 22 today,” Gallant said of Brooke Wakelin.
“The official cause of death will be released by the medical examiner, but all indications and all probabilities are that it was a carbon monoxide poisoning of all four,” the sheriff said.
The young adults and a beagle were staying in the cabin without electricity and an empty generator was located in the basement.
“It appears they gassed the generator up and powered it up and plugged in the refrigerator,” Gallant said. “Sometime that night … they went to bed and the generator remained running. The generator ran through its entire tank of gas.”
The fumes from the generator, which should have been moved outside while running, filled the cabin and overtook the group and the family pet, he said.
“We found two in the bedroom downstairs and two more on the second floor in separate rooms,” Gallant said.
The father of the Wakelin siblings made the discovery.
“The father … he was going to swing up and visit them and [possibly] spend the weekend with them,” Gallant said. “It’s terrible.”
The bodies are being sent to the the state medical examiner’s office in Augusta, he said. Release of the names came later than Gallant had hoped, because “it took a while to track down family members,” he said.
“We discovered the four came up on Tuesday evening” in part to celebrate the birthday, Gallant said.
“It’s a very tragic night and day,” the sheriff said. “For not only the local community but these poor families in Massachusetts.”
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