Young Lovers' Tragic Deaths Could Have Happened to Anyone

A young couple in love who had been missing for almost a month were discovered together in a garage, slumped over in the front seats of a car, the apparent victims of carbon monoxide poisoning. The young lovers, Jorge Rodriguez, 24, and Melissa Pereira, 25, had apparently slipped away for some alone time inside a garage that Pereira's family owns in New Jersey. A neighbor saw them drive the car into the garage and thought they might be going in for a "little hanky panky." That was the last time they were seen alive.

The couple appear to have had the car running in order to stay warm -- the car's gas tank was reportedly empty and the battery dead when the bodies were found.

Family members say the couple were happy and planning a romantic trip to Pennsylvania for New Year's Eve and would have had no reason to commit suicide. No note was found. "This has to be an accident," Pereira's uncle, Sham Bacchus, told the Daily MailOnline.

Family members are disturbed that it took police this long to track the couple down, considering that Melissa had her cell phone on her and it was working and the phone could have been tracked. Police, however, say they checked the garage as soon as they learned the phone's whereabouts. Either way, this is a horrible tragedy.

Carbone monoxide poisoning is one of those things you tend to simply forget about -- you turn on your car to keep warm, and then nothing warns you to impending doom. It is silent, odorless, and painless. You fall asleep and then are gone.

By all accounts, the two were madly in love, and Melissa's last tweet was about Jorge. She wrote:

Weekend with my everything. :) #lovehim

But when the pair never showed at the hotel for their NYE getaway, Melissa's mother became concerned.

Family members seem convinced this was a horrible accident, and not double suicide. "They’re a loving couple and they would not kill themselves," one relative told the Daily MailOnline.

I suppose it is small comfort that a young vibrant couple's lives were snuffed out by such a random accident, but at least their lives were not taken violently by a stranger. Still, it must be absolutely devastating to know that such a small thing as running the car on a cold night could turn to such tragedy.

Are you careful about running your car in the garage?


Image via New Jersey State Police

death, in the news

8 Comments

To add a comment, please log in with

Use Your CafeMom Profile

Join CafeMom or Log in to your CafeMom account. CafeMom members can keep track of their comments.

Join CafeMom or Log in to your CafeMom account. CafeMom members can keep track of their comments.

Comment As a Guest

Guest comments are moderated and will not appear immediately.

JS0512 JS0512

It's tragic, but completely preventable. It's common sense not to run a vehicle in an enclosed space. Shouldn't even do it with the garage door open.

Baile... Bailey8307

This story is so tragic and my hearts go out to their families. Remember to install carbon monoxide detectors in your home as well all! Ours saved our lives when a vent cover slipped out of place and carbon monoxide began building up in our home.

MrsRo... MrsRoberts413

My dad's best friend since infancy died of carbon monoxide poisoning, having fallen asleep in his car in his garage without first turing it off, when they were 23 years old.  For a lot of young people a car is a great escape from whatever's going on in the house, they sit in it outside with it running to keep warm, but don't realize the real danger of carbon monoxide poisoning that results from it!  The only reason I knew better was because of my dad telling me about his friend, I think more awareness needs to be spread to teens and young adults not to just sit and hang out in a running car inside!

candy... candyw210

I had a carbon monoxide leak in my home. luckily a week before this happened we installed the detectors. the fire department came out and ran tests and the levels were so high we had to open every door and window for the rest of the night and have our furnace repaired. it was middle of winter so we stayed in a hotel while our house aired out and the furnace got fixed but how scary! but common knowledge on vehicles in a garage is to never leave them running while the door is closed. I learned that before i started to drive. Its a shame and a pity that these two were never made aware of the dangers. My parents explained this to me well before i drove

lilmo... lilmoosesmom

Wait? It took them a month to be found? Even though there was someone to say they were last seen entering the garage? And No one checked? Does that not sound really odd to anyone else

2cent... 2centsCDN

Sounds really odd to me lilmoosesmom.

Austi... Austinsmommy12

Me too. You'd think someone would've thought to look in the garage, even if her cell hadn't been on and able to be tracked. So sad.

Jeff Liu

Kill that car!

1-8 of 8 comments
F