In West Toledo on Monday, five family members were found dead, huddled together in the back seat of a car parked in a garage. According to preliminary reports, carbon monoxide poisoning was the cause of death.
The autopsies of Sandy Ford, 56, Andy Ford, 32, Paige Hayes, 10, Logan Hayes, 7, and Madalyn Hayes, 5, were completed Tuesday and Wednesday by Lucas County deputy coroner Dr. CynthiaBeisser. Mrs. Ford and Mr. Ford are the children’s maternal grandmother and uncle.
Officials are still investigating whether any other substances were a cause of the death, such as drugs. The toxicology reports could take up to eight weeks for results
Toledo firefighters broke into the garage using a sledgehammer after Randy Ford, 60, the husband of Mrs. Ford, called police when he found suspicious notes all over the house when he returned home from work.
The firefighters found the five family members in the back of Andy Ford’s blue Honda Civic. The car was rigged with hoses that pumped in fumes from the tailpipe of a running truck that was also parked in the garage. The five were pronounced dead at the scene.
According to Dr. Beisser, there is no way to tell how long they had been in the garage and what time they all died. The children were not restrained at all.
The children had been living with the Ford’s since 2009 so that their parents, Chris and Mandy Hayes, could focus on a son that is now 9, who had behavioral issues.
Last week, the children moved back to their parents’ home in Sylvania Township against Mrs. Ford’s wishes.
According to the police report, Mrs. Hayes dropped the three children off at Whiteford Elementary School at 8:20 am. On Monday, at about 10 a.m., Mrs. Hayes received a call from school officials saying that the children had not yet arrived to their classes.
Officials have determined that Mrs. Ford drove to the school and waited in the lobby for the children and then took them from the building and drove them back to her house. Before the five family member s were found by Mr. Ford, a statewide all-points bulletin, asking to be on the lookout for the children, was issued. The report states that Mrs. Hayes suspected from the start that her mother took the children without telling anyone or asking.
A Hayes Children Memorial Fund has been set up at PNC Bank and contributions can be dropped off at any branch.
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