Couple found dead in their camper, carbon monoxide poisoning suspected

The couple in their 60s were found Saturday morning.

A couple from Cloquet were found dead from suspected carbon monoxide poisoning in their camper over the weekend.

Pamela and Richard Smith, 65 and 67, respectively, were found in the vehicle in Brookston, about 16 miles northwest of Cloquet, at 7:15 a.m. on Saturday, according to the St. Louis County Sheriff's Office.

They were declared dead at the scene after resuscitation efforts proved unsuccessful.

The sheriff's office said the cause of the carbon monoxide appears to have been a generator that had been placed in an unvented storage cabinet below the camper's living space.

The camper was equipped with a CO detector, which was working and sounding during the incident.

Although investigators believe CO poisoning led to their deaths, this will be confirmed at a later stage by the Midwest Medical Examiner.

The odorless and colorless gas is deadly, with the Centers for Disease Control saying it is particularly dangerous to older people who suffer from chronic heart disease, anemia or breathing problems.

CO deaths in Minnesota

The latest figures from the Minnesota Department of Health relating to CO poisoning are from 2015, when 12 people in the state died.

That was down compared to 2014, when there were 14 deaths, and 2013 when there were 18.

People aged 65 and older accounted for the highest proportion of the deaths.

The gas is found in fumes produced when you burn fuel, from cars, trucks, generator engines, stoves, lanterns, grills, fireplaces, gas ranges and furnaces. You can read more about the symptoms here.

Next Up

minnesota house of representatives

Minnesota House will continue hybrid operations, require masks in 2022

The Speaker of the House announced the plans in a memo to members and staff on Thursday.

autumn larson settlement

Minneapolis committee OKs $45K payout to woman shot by police during riots

She was hit in the face with a "less lethal" projectile while she was in her car trying to leave the protest.


What NOAA's winter outlook says about Minnesota

A moderate La Niña winter is expected.

Merwin Liquors

Liquor store that has become shooting hotspot seeking to move

The area surrounding Merwin's Liquors has been beset by crime in recent years.

Mohamed Noor

Ex-Minneapolis cop Noor resentenced to 57 months in prison

Justine Ruszczyk Damond's fiancé said he forgives Noor.

Anthony Edwards

Anthony Edwards was right: he is Houdini and his bag of tricks is incredible

Edwards put the entire league on notice with his season-opening performance.

Bob Fletcher

New 'public service' charter school backed by Ramsey Co. Sheriff to open

Efforts to open the school were spearheaded in part by Ramsey County Sheriff Bob Fletcher.

covid-19 testing site sign

Minnesota to offer free COVID rapid testing at 9 more sites

Three new rapid testing sites opened in Minnesota this week.


Elvis Costello cancels Mystic Lake show, will play vax-requiring First Ave instead

Those who bought tickets to Mystic Lake will be refunded, and need to buy new tickets.


23 Minnesotans infected with salmonella linked to onions

Four of Minnesota residents were hospitalized. None have died.


Man dead, 8 taken to hospital with carbon monoxide poisoning

The man's wife and first responders were sickened, too.

carbon monoxide

Man, dog die in suspected carbon monoxide poisoning

The discovery was made in northeastern Minnesota.

Here are the warning signs for carbon monoxide poisoning

10 people in St. Paul were hospitalized with CO poisoning on New Year's Day.

Carbon monoxide poisoning killed 2 people found in Buffalo Wild Wings parking lot

An autopsy found carbon monoxide poisoning was the main cause.

Hole in exhaust pipe found on boat where girl died of carbon monoxide poisoning

Baechler, a second-grader at Concord Elementary School, died Sunday.

Suspected CO poisoning kills woman, 3 officers hospitalized

The woman was found dead in the home on Friday evening.