3 New Mexico High Students Found Dead in Garage Likely Died of Carbon Monoxide Poisoning: Police

The students were found dead Sunday morning with a propane heater nearby, the Edgewood Police Department said

The bodies of three New Mexico high school students were found in a garage this weekend, and police believe they may have died of carbon monoxide poisoning.

In a news release, the Edgewood Police Department said the students, all teenagers, were found in a garage with a propane heater on Sunday.

"As of now, there is no indication of foul play, it appears that the cause of death may be Carbon Monoxide Poisoning as a propane heater was found to be in use," the department said in a statement.

"The Edgewood Police Department would like to stress to the community the dangers of Carbon Monoxide and the importance of having Carbon Monoxide detectors in homes and workspaces where heaters and appliances are in use," they later added. "Carbon Monoxide is extremely dangerous, it cannot be seen, smelled, or heard."

The trio was found on Sunday morning by a fourth teenager, KRQE reported.

Police have not publicly identified the three students. However, one student, Christopher Pearce, was identified by a family member, according to the Albuquerque Journal.

"If he wasn't playing video games or playing soccer, he was always hanging out with [his girlfriend] or his friends," Matthew Pearce told the outlet.

Moriarty High principal, Robert Adams, said all three students were sophomores.

"Students that are here are dealing —you know, some of them want to be around their friends. Some of them want to be around their teachers," he said, per KOAT. "Some of them want to talk about it. Some of them want to be alone."

Adams did not immediately respond to PEOPLE's request for comment.

Carbon monoxide is an odorless and colorless gas that can cause illness and death if found in sufficient concentration in the air. The Centers for Disease Control recommends against using "generators, grills, camp stoves, or other gasoline, propane, natural gas, or charcoal-burning devices" inside the home, or outside near an open window.

Signs and symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning include shortness of breath, headache, nausea, chest pain, altered mental status, loss of consciousness, and other neurological symptoms.

The organization says at least 420 people die from accidental carbon monoxide poisoning in the U.S. every year, with 100,000 others seeking medical attention from poisoning.

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Along with a fire alarm, it is recommended to have a carbon monoxide detector in the home and to check or change the batteries every six months, the CDC says.

New Mexico Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham wrote about the students' deaths in a Facebook post on Tuesday.

"I am heartbroken over the tragic deaths of three Moriarty High School students," she wrote. "My thoughts and prayers are with their families, friends and the entire Moriarty High School community, and the state stands ready to provide any support needed during this difficult time."

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