Report on Boone hotel deaths going to the District Attorney - | WBTV Charlotte

Report on Boone hotel deaths going to the District Attorney


The investigation into the carbon monoxide deaths of three people at the Best Western Hotel in Boone earlier this year is now in the hands of the District Attorney.

Boone Police gave a two-hour presentation to District Attorney Jerry Wilson Thursday afternoon and will take all the files and paperwork associated with their investigation to the DIstrict Attorney's office Friday morning.

Wilson said his office will examine all the paperwork to determine if there is enough evidence to seek charges in the case. "It will not be based on emotion," said Wilson. "It will be based solely on the evidence that is in the investigative reports,"

So far, Wilson has only seen a slide and power point presentation from detectives. Other documents and records still need to be examined, he said. 

"We will take whatever time is needed to look at everything before a decision is made." 

Back in the spring an elderly couple collapsed and died in room 225 at the hotel. Several weeks later, in the same room, a young boy collapsed and died. The medical examiner determined the cause of death was carbon monoxide poisoning.

Fire investigators conducted tests at the hotel and determined that a replacement pool heater that was installed in recent years was the source of the gas and that a corroded exhaust system for it caused the gas to leak into the room above where the people died.  Boone Planning officials said they could not find where a permit had been requested or issued for the pool heater installation, as required by codes.

Investigators Thursday would not discuss the details in the report, only to say it was extensive and more than a thousand pages. If any charges are warranted, they said, it likely would come in the form of Grand Jury indictments.

The next meeting of the Watauga County Grand Jury is in January. Officials said there was no way to determine now if anything would be presented then.

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