PRINCESS ANNE, Md. — A man found dead with his seven children in a Maryland home where power was cut due to an outstanding bill had tried to keep the family warm with a generator, a relative said.
Lloyd Edwards told The Associated Press that his stepson, 36-year-old Rodney Todd, had bought the generator after the power was shut off to the home in Princess Anne, about 60 miles southeast of Annapolis on Maryland's Eastern Shore. He said those who died were Todd and Todd's two sons and five daughters.
"To keep his seven children warm, (Todd) bought a generator, Edwards said, adding: "The carbon monoxide consumed them."
Authorities had no immediate information on the cause of the deaths.
Lloyd and Bonnie Edwards spoke with an AP report outside the one-story wood frame home, identifying themselves as the mother and stepfather of the 36-year-old Todd, whom they identified as the adult who died.
Princess Anne Police Chief Scott Keller told The AP a generator that was out of gasoline was found in the kitchen of the home, where the bodies were discovered Monday.
A police statement said only that the cause of the deaths remains under investigation and it identified the victims as an adult and seven children from 6 years old to the teens, without naming them or any relationships among them.
Matt Likovich, a spokesman for Delmarva Power, would not say Monday night whether the power had been cut off. He said the matter is being investigated.
People hugged each other and looked on somberly outside the home Monday as police officers stood by and investigators went through the house. The home was encircled with yellow police tape, wrapped around some trees in the yard.
"It's so hard," the stepfather said.
Police said in a statement that officers went to the home after being contacted by the man's co-worker, anxious that the man hadn't been seen in days.
Bonnie Edwards, Todd's mother, identified the man's children as boys Cameron, 13, and Zycheim, 7; and girls Tynijuiza, 15; Tykira, 12; Tybree, 10; Tyania, 9; and Tybria, 6.
Bonnie Edwards described her son as a loving, caring young man who set an example for his children. "I don't know anyone his age who would have done what he did" for his children, she said. "I was so proud to say he took care of seven kids."
Todd was a utility worker at the nearby University of Maryland Eastern Shore, said his supervisor Stephanie Wells.
Wells, who hadn't seen Todd since March 28, said she went to the house Monday morning and knocked on the door, but no one answered. She then filed a missing person report with police. ff