HIALEAH (CBS4) -Five young men lost their lives at a Hialeah Hotel Monday, and the medical examiner’s report confirms carbon monoxide from a running car is to blame.
Family friends told CBS4’s Peter D’Oench that the men had gone to the Presidente Hotel at 1395 SE 8th Court last night to celebrate a friend’s 18th birthday.
The victims were: Juchen Martial, who turned 19 on Sunday; Evans Charles, 19; Jonas Antenor, 18; Peterson Nazon, 17; and Jean Pierre Ferdinand, 16.
Hialeah Department Lt. Cesar Espinosa said the men were discovered just before 2 p.m. Monday by a hotel employee.
“She discovered five black males in the room and she immediately called 911,” Espinsosa said. “When the fire department got there, they discovered them in Room 112, and the door had been left open to a garage on the first floor that is next to the room and a car was still running.
“They were all deceased and it appears this was the result of carbon monoxide poisoning,” he said.
Family friends told D’Oench the men left the car running because its battery was low on power and needed to be charged up.
Espinosa said there were no signs of foul play.
“There was no drug paraphernalia, no signs of alcohol,” said Espinosa, “and no signs of trauma to the victims.”
Detective Carl Zogby said police launched their own criminal investigation. He said all five men were from the area.
Zogby and Espinosa said this tragedy should serve as a warning.
“You should never keep your car running like this,” said Espinosa. “Whether you are outside or inside a garage with your car, you have to be so careful.”
The way the men died, however, was not evidently traumatic, Zogby said.
“All these men apparently died peacefully,” he said, “but they died apparently from carbon monoxide poisoning.”
A family friend reacted by saying “They were good kids … They were good kids, this is too bad.”
“I love him. He knows that too,” said Immarcyla Nazon, the mother of Peterson Nazon.
When we asked her how she was able to stay so strong, she said, “I think God gave me power. I think my son gave me power too.”
CBS4 News has learned some of the teenagers were working on a documentary about life in Little Haiti. The producer of that film tells us they were just three weeks away from finishing the film.