Family mourns the loss of two sons

RICHFIELD, Utah (ABC 4 Utah) – A family is mourning the loss of their sons today, after the father came home to find them dead in a bedroom.

Richfield Police say they believe these people suffered carbon monoxide poisoning.  Police say two step-brothers had succumbed to the toxic fumes by the time they arrived, but police also found two completely lethargic females in the same bedroom.

“They call it the silent killer for a reason. You don't know what's happening to you till it's too late," said Dawn Allred, the family’s next-door neighbor.   

Police say that is exactly what they think happened to 17 year-old Joey Julander and 21 year-old Tyler Utley Friday night.

"They haven't had any power in the house, so they've been keeping it warm with a generator," explained Chief John Evans with the Richfield Police Dept.  

Neighbors say the father has worked a lot lately to try and make ends meet.  Money problems are not the only struggle the family has had to deal with, though.

"The father of the family just lost his mother and of course, his son, a grandmother, just within the past few weeks, so they were still getting off of that trauma, basically, when this happened," said Kevin Kitchen, the Utley family’s spokesperson.

Dawn Allred lives next door to the Utley residence, where the grandmother used to live. 

"I didn't really notice activity yesterday. I didn't connect it until I got home and heard the news, and I'm just kind of shocked," said Allred.   

Other neighbors say this is an eye-opening experience.

"I just think people need to be more aware of how carbon monoxide poisoning happens, what kind of homes it'll happen in," said David Palmer, a neighbor.  

Police say regardless of anyone's situation, it is best to play it safe.  

"Check your carbon monoxide detectors, check the batteries.  If you don't have one, get one.  This could've been avoided if they had one," said Chief Evans.  

For now, the bodies remain in the medical examiner's office.  Police say they hope to have more information by tomorrow. 

One of the two young ladies—19 year-old Vanessa Batistic—is still getting treatment at a hospital in Provo.  The other girl—14 year-old Kennedee Starr—returned home this afternoon.  

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