The coroner’s office in Quebec has ruled that accidental carbon monoxide poisoning led to the deaths of an elderly couple in their Côte Saint-Luc home earlier this year.
The bodies of Simone Elkeslassy, 84, and Roger Banon, 88, were discovered on the evening of Feb. 6. Their son arrived at the residence on Cavendish Boulevard after his parents did not answer his phone calls.
In her report, coroner Julie-Kim Godin notes Elkeslassy was getting back into her regular routine following a vacation. After she went grocery shopping, the report says Elkeslassy parked her vehicle in the garage and left the car running during the day on Feb. 5.
“The car key was found in the ignition, and it was switched on,” Godin wrote in her report. “The gas light showed that the tank was empty, and the hood of the car was lukewarm.”
As a result, Godin wrote that it appears the car was left on for several hours and that the colourless and odourless carbon monoxide seeped into the couple’s home undetected.
The report found Elkeslassy and Banon were found in their pyjamas and died from carbon monoxide poisoning during the night. While the couple had a functional carbon monoxide detector, it was located in the basement.
Their son immediately contacted authorities after arriving at their home the next day. The fire department quickly found the presence of carbon monoxide in the residence, according to Godin.
The report states Elkeslassy was likely distracted when she came home and left the car running. Aside from returning to her routine, Elkeslassy was also the primary caregiver for Banon, who suffered from Parkinson’s disease.
“She probably had a lot of worries and things on her mind,” wrote Godin. “All of which contributed to a moment of distraction.”
The coroner’s findings ruled out suicide and alcohol as potential causes of death.