CHICAGO (STMW) – Carbon monoxide poisoning was likely a contributing factor in the death of a 4-year-old boy and his father who were found dead at the father’s Yorkville home.
On Friday, Kendall County Coroner Ken Toftoy said the bodies of Joseph Schmitt, 35, and son Wyland Schmitt, 4, both indicated they had breathed a significant amount of carbon monoxide. The bodies were found on Wednesday in the garage of the two-story, single-family home where Joseph Schmitt lived in the 300 block of Bertram Drive.
Police were called to the home Wednesday for a well-being check. When officers arrived, they discovered the bodies in the garage. Two lawn chairs were set up near a car. Joseph Schmitt was on the floor and his son was sitting in a chair nearby, Toftoy said.
Neither body showed any signs of trauma, Toftoy said — both looked like they were sleeping.
“I’ve done this 20 years and I can’t get this out my mind,” Toftoy said. “Seeing that little guy sitting in the chair in his pajamas… I had tears in my eyes when I was picking him up.”
Sources said Schmitt’s car was parked in the closed garage where the bodies were found. The car was no longer running when police arrived.
According to DuPage County court records, Schmitt’s wife, Kyle Weber, had filed for divorce in August. The couple was scheduled to be in court at the end of November.
Neighbors said Joseph Schmitt and his wife were separated and that she no longer lived in the house. Wyland would visit his father often, neighbors said.
The autopsies were performed Friday. Toftoy said he could not label the deaths a murder-suicide. However, Yorkville Police Chief Rich Hart said that police are not looking for any suspects and there is no danger to the public.
Hart said police had no previous contacts at the house. He declined to comment further while the incident is still under investigation.
Toftoy said the carbon monoxide levels were clearly high enough to cause death. Blood and urine samples were sent to the state crime lab to determine if there were signs of any drugs in either Wyland or Schmitt’s body.
“We just need to know,” Toftoy said. “It’s part of the legal process.”
Family members could not be reached for comment.
(Source: Sun-Times Media Wire © Chicago Sun-Times 2012. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)