GARDEN GROVE (CBSLA) — A family of four, including two young children, were found dead in a van Thursday night that had been parked at a CVS drug store parking lot in Garden Grove for several days.
A woman reported the van at about 8:30 p.m. after walking by and smelling a foul odor coming from it, Garden Grove police said. Responding officers saw the van, which had been backed into a space in the far corner of the lot, had its windows covered with blankets and a sunscreen before finding a man, a woman, a boy, and a girl dead inside, police Lt. Carl Whitney said.
The victims did not appear to have any signs of trauma, Whitney said. Autopsies are pending and will determine the cause of death.
“It appears that the man backed into a parking stall, and they may have succumbed to either some carbon monoxide poisoning, because there’s no obvious signs of trauma,” Whitney told CBS2. “But based on what we’ve seen, it looks like it was a tragic accident at this point.”
The man has been identified as Phunyouphone Kanyavong, 41. The mother, who has yet to be identified, was 20.
The children were a girl, about 2, and an 8-months-old boy.
The family was dead for two to three days, officials said.
“The van was parked there for four days, I just don’t know how anyone could miss it, because I do remember the smell, now, earlier that day,” homeless man Ty Stanfill said.
Police told CBS2 that officers had no contact with the family prior to finding their bodies.
The woman who made the initial report told police she had seen the white Honda van go in and out of the parking lot over the past month and thought the family might have been homeless.
(© Copyright 2018 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. City News Service contributed to this report.)