Police are investigating whether a suicide pact was behind a case of carbon monoxide poisoning that left a Kingston woman near death and her partner charged with promoting a suicide attempt.
Kingston cops responded to a home on West Chestnut Street around 8:20 a.m. on Monday, Jan. 12 after family members asked them to check on the welfare of a couple living there. Police initially received no response from inside the house. After banging on several windows and doors, police said, Paul J. Egan answered the door. Officers immediately noticed a strange odor emanating from inside the house, later determined to be from a furnace emitting carbon monoxide. When Egan told cops that there was another person at home, police entered the house and discovered a 59-year-old woman unresponsive inside. Officers removed the woman from the residence; she was later found to be suffering from carbon monoxide poisoning. The woman, whom police did not name, was taken to HealthAlliance Hospital’s Broadway Campus for treatment. She was later taken to Jacobi Medical Center in the Bronx, where she remains in critical condition.
Further investigation determined that Egan had disconnected a boiler exhaust pipe and turned on a gas generator, filling the house with carbon monoxide. Egan was taken into custody and charged with felony promoting a suicide attempt. He was arraigned in Kingston City Court and sent to the Ulster County Jail on $25,000 bail.
District Attorney Holley Carnright said that investigators were working to determine whether Egan’s actions were taken as apart of a suicide pact with the victim. He noted that Egan was inside the home when police arrived and had taken no steps to protect himself from the deadly gas filling the interior. Carnright said investigators were speaking to family and neighbors about the couple’s state of mind and looking for notes or other potential tip-offs to a planned double suicide.
“Had no one gone there would [Egan] have died, or was this a sham? That’s the question we have to answer,” said Carnright.