EAST ORANGE - Authorities confirmed on Friday that a mother and her young daughter died of carbon monoxide poisoning inside their East Orange home.
Octavia Campbell, 29, and her 7-year-old daughter Christiana were found dead in their Dodd Street home at around 8:30 a.m. Wednesday, according to the Essex County Prosecutor's Office. They say Campbell's boyfriend discovered the two when he went to their home after his phone calls went unanswered. He said that he could smell gas in the air.
There were no signs of trauma or foul play. An autopsy was performed on the mother and daughter to determine the exact cause of death.
A preliminary investigation showed that power to the home had been shut off on Tuesday, and a gas generator was being used without proper ventilation, said Acting Essex County Prosecutor Carolyn A. Murray in a news release.
PSEG confirmed that utilities were shut off due to nonpayment. A spokesperson said that multiple notices with financial-assistance information were sent, dating back to last October.
Family members say there were no functioning carbon monoxide detectors in the home.
Campbell's cousin says the victim had been completing a medical-assistant program at Drake College. Christiana was a first-grade student at the Whitney Houston Academy.