Tragedy truck two St. Petersburg, Florida families this week after two teens were trapped inside of a residential garage, local news outlets are reporting. Local police are reporting that the teenage couple died of carbon monoxide poisoning while they say inside of a family SUV. Although the interior garage door was locked and the automatic garage door was closed, investigators are saying that the deaths do not appear to be suicides, despite the tragic overtones reminiscent of a certain Shakesperean romance.
It’s unclear what lead them to that resolute conclusion, but at least one news outlet reported that one teen was found slumped halfway out of one SUV window, as if he had lost consciousness in the middle of an attempted escape.
Police said 17-year-old Dorian Gomez Poehlmann left his mother’s home on Sunday afternoon to pick up his girlfriend, 14-year-old Emily Sabow in the Poehlmann’s 2002 Mitsubishi SUV. Eventually Poehlmann returned, his love sitting beside him in the passenger seat, and parked the SUV in the detached garage. No one knew they were there. At some point, the heavy garage door closed, leaving the teens trapped inside the unventilated garage. What the two of them did next–or why the garage door closed in the first place–is a mystery. Poehlmann’s mother called her son’s cell phone repeatedly, but he didn’t respond.
Somewhat distraught, she reported the children missing at approximately 11 p.m. local time Sunday. The families of both teens did attempt to access the garage as they searched, but no one was unable to pry the door open. It was not until Monday morning that Poehlmann’s mother finally located the young lovers, but by then it was too late to save them.
“It appears that this was a horrible tragedy that has clearly devastated both of these families,” said St. Petersburg Assistant Police Chief Jim Previtera. “Because of a garage door opener they couldn’t get the door up, but they didn’t believe the kids were there,” Previtera told Fox 13.