Stolen Electric Meter Removed Before 8 Were Poisoned - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Stolen Electric Meter Removed Before 8 Were Poisoned

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Police tape is shown in front of the home of Rodney Todd, whose body, along with those of his seven children were found Monday. (Photo: WBOC) Police tape is shown in front of the home of Rodney Todd, whose body, along with those of his seven children were found Monday. (Photo: WBOC)
Bystanders are seen late Monday afternoon in front of the Princess Anne home of Rodney Todd, where his body, along with those of his seven children were found inside. (Photo: WBOC) Bystanders are seen late Monday afternoon in front of the Princess Anne home of Rodney Todd, where his body, along with those of his seven children were found inside. (Photo: WBOC)
A police car is shown in front of the home where the bodies of 36-year-old Rodney Todd and his seven children were found Monday. (Photo: WBOC) A police car is shown in front of the home where the bodies of 36-year-old Rodney Todd and his seven children were found Monday. (Photo: WBOC)
PRINCESS ANNE, Md. (WBOC/AP)- Delmarva Power says it did not cut off power to a family of eight who died of accidental carbon monoxide poisoning because they were behind on their utility bills.Spokesman Matt Likovich said in a statement that the utility discovered a stolen electric meter had been illegally connected to the rental home in Princess Anne where the family was living since November.

"There was no request to reconnect service," Likovich said. "Through the use of smart meter technology, Delmarva Power discovered a stolen electric meter was being used at the home on March 25, 2015."

Likovich said they discovered the meter was stolen after a home in the same neighborhood that also had its service disconnected started registering electric use on the meter even though no one was living there.  

"We were able to ping the meter and were able to get an idea where that meter might be in the general location. It turns out it was in the same neighborhood," Likovich said. "We were able then to send an investigator out and he was able to pinpoint the house where the stolen meter had been installed."

Likovich said the utility disconnected the illegally connected meter for safety reasons and to comply with standard protocol. 

"Delmarva Power did not disconnect electric service at this address for nonpayment," Likovich said. He added that Delmarva Power is deeply saddened by the tragedy and urges anyone with power issues to contact the utility to ensure continued safe electrical service.

Rodney Eric Todd, 36, and his two sons and five daughters were last seen alive on March 28. Princess Anne police responding to a missing persons report found their bodies Monday after friends, school workers and Todd's supervisor at work had knocked on the door with no answer.

"The children were all in beds and it appears as though they were sleeping," Princess Anne Police Chief Scott Keller said. "They didn't have electricity. Probably it was bedtime and they decided they needed some light and probably some heat, because toward the end of March even though it was spring we were having some pretty chilly nights."  

Todd was employed as a kitchen worker at the nearby University of Maryland Eastern Shore. He retained full custody of his children when his divorce from Tyisha Luniece Chambers was finalized last September. 

Court records identified the boys as Cameron and ZhiHeem, and the girls as Tyjuziana, Tykeria, Tynijuzia, TyNiah and Tybreyia. Bonnie Edwards said her grandsons were 13 and 7, and granddaughters were 15, 12, 10, 9 and 6, respectively.The children attended three schools including Somerset Intermediate School, Princess Anne Elementary School and Washington Academy and High School, officials said.

"The Somerset County Public School system is deeply saddened and heartbroken over the recent tragedy in the Princess Anne community," said Somerset County Superintendent of Schools Dr. John B. Gaddis in a statement. "Our hearts and prayers go out to the Todd family and our community as we struggle with the loss of seven beautiful children. We are committed to providing the services needed and meeting the needs of our schools and community during this very difficult time.”

Officials said that prior to the beginning of class Tuesday, the superintendent visited a number of the schools and attended faculty/staff meetings conducted by the principals to discuss what services can be offered to those students and staff who need assistance in coping with this tragedy.

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