Boone Officials Say Motel Pool Heater Replaced Without Permit

A Boone inspector says a hotel pool heater that leaked carbon monoxide and killed a Washington state couple and later a South Carolina boy was installed without the knowledge of the town's inspection department.

Todd Miller with the Boone Planning and Inspections Department says the Best Western Blue Ridge Plaza never told the city about the new heater. Miller says the hotel did not apply for a required permit for the change.

Officials say carbon monoxide poisoning killed 73-year-old Daryl Jenkins and 72-year-old Shirley Jenkins of Longview, Wash., on April 16. They were staying in a room directly over the pool's maintenance room.

Eleven-year-old Jeffrey Lee Williams of Rock Hill, S.C., died in the same room June 8.

An attorney for the hotel did not respond to a message.

(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

Previous Story

The N.C. Medical Examiner's office knew carbon monoxide might have killed a couple in a Boone motel a week before an 11-year-old boy died in the same room.

The Charlotte Observer reported Saturday ( ) that Watauga County medical examiner Dr. Brent Hall resigned Friday.

Toxicology tests completed June 1 showed lethal levels of carbon monoxide in the blood of 72-year-old Shirley Mae Jenkins, who was found dead with her husband on April 16 in Room 225 of the Best Western Plus Blue Ridge Plaza.

But Hall failed to share those results with Watauga County authorities who could have shut down the motel.

Seven days later, Jeffrey Williams of Rock Hill, S.C., died in the same room. Investigators have determined an improperly ventilated pool heater was the source of the gas.