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Sheriff: Couple dies after vehicle’s removed catalytic converter leads to carbon monoxide poisoning

Clinch County
Clinch County(WALB)
Published: Dec. 17, 2021 at 10:55 AM EST|Updated: Dec. 20, 2021 at 8:49 PM EST
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HOMERVILLE, Ga. (WALB) - A Clinch County couple died from carbon monoxide poisoning after it was found that the catalytic converter was removed from their vehicle, according to Sheriff Stephen Tinsley.

On Wednesday afternoon, the sheriff’s office responded and found the couple — Robert and Belva Mizell — deceased in their vehicle.

“Upon investigation, it was determined that the couple died of carbon monoxide poisoning,” the sheriff wrote in a Facebook post. “The catalytic converter was missing from their vehicle, and the exhaust from the idling vehicle entered the passenger compartment, thereby causing the victims to be overcome by the toxic exhaust fumes and ultimately, result in their untimely death.”

A vehicle’s catalytic converter, Tinsley pointed out, “converts toxic exhaust fumes to less dangerous substances, and operating a vehicle missing its catalytic converter can be deadly, as proven by (Wednesday’s) incident.”

Tinsley said Monday based on investigation, “the investigators determined the deceased couple removed their own catalytic converter from their own Lexus to buy drugs.”

The sheriff said there has been a surge of catalytic converter thefts in the area. Tinsley said stealing them is not a victimless crime.

“You are putting lives in danger. Furthermore, trespassing on someone’s property for the purpose of stealing their stuff can be dangerous — or even deadly — particularly if the property owner feels his/her life is in danger,” Tinsley said. “Keep in mind, we live in South Georgia where people often exercise their 2nd Amendment rights.”

On the afternoon of December 15, Clinch County Sheriff’s Deputies responded to a residence in reference to a male and a...

Posted by Sheriff Stephen Tinsley - Clinch County, GA on Thursday, December 16, 2021

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