When Rodney Todd failed to show up at work for several days, his co-workers knew something was wrong. So one of them filed a police report. When officers on Monday entered Todd’s home in the town of Princess Anne, Md., they found a tragic scene.
Todd and his seven children were dead of apparent carbon monoxide poisoning, according to USA Today.
There was no electrical power in the house, and the police found a gas-powered generator in the kitchen that had run out of fuel. Officials said that no foul play was suspected but that the cause of death was being investigated.
The Associated Press spoke with Todd’s mother, Bonnie Edwards, and stepfather, Lloyd Edwards, at the scene. Lloyd Edwards said that Delmarva Power turned off his stepson’s electricity because of an overdue bill.
“To keep his seven children warm, he bought a generator, and the carbon monoxide consumed them,” Lloyd Edwards told AP.
A spokesman for Delmarva Power declined to confirm whether the power had been cut off but said the matter was under investigation.
Todd’s grieving mother said her 36-year-old son’s seven children—two boys and five girls—ranged from 6 to 15 years old. She said he was her best friend and a loving father who set a sound example for his children.
“I don’t know anyone his age who would have done what he did” for his children, she told AP. “I was so proud to say he took care of seven kids.”