EL MIRAGE, AZ (KNXV/CNN) – A trip to celebrate the new year ended in tragedy when a family of four, including two young children, died due to possible carbon monoxide poisoning at a cabin in Arizona.
Deputies responded to a request for a welfare check on New Year’s Day after a family friend contacted the sheriff’s office, saying they had been unable to reach the Capitano family for several days.
The Capitanos – 32-year-old Anthony, his wife Meaghan and their 3-and-4-year-old children – had been vacationing at the cabin in Parks, AZ, since Friday.
When deputies arrived, a strong gas odor was smelled, officials say. All four members of the family were found dead inside.
Investigators hired a licensed heating and cooling provider to inspect the cabin’s heating system. The contractor found a major failure in the system, which would be consistent with carbon monoxide overcoming the cabin, officials say.
Officials believe the family may have died early Saturday morning.
Family friend Daniel Matock is left without words after the deaths. He remembers his friend, Anthony, as an Arizona Cardinals fan and a proud husband and father.
"God's got a plan, and it's just hard to see this part of his plan,” Matock said. "The hardest part is I want to be angry at something, but there's nothing to be angry at. It's one of those hopeless situations that just is."
The Coconino County Medical Examiner’s Office is still working to determine an official cause and manner of death.
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