A mom and dad mourn an unimaginable loss—the deaths of their two little girls, allegedly from pesticides used when they hired an exterminator to come to their house.
The exterminator is accused of causing the deaths of 4-year-old Rebecca Toone and her 15-month-old kid sister Rachel. Coleman Nocks was called to the Toone's upscale home outside Salt Lake City to get rid of voles which are a cross between a mouse and a mole. Pesky voles have even popped up at the White House, scampering back and forth right in front of President Obama.
The exterminator allegedly placed tablets of a poison, called Fumitoxin, within seven feet of the house. The Fumitoxin label warns "this product must not be applied...within 15 feet of...residences."
"Mr. Nocks put too much of the pesticide, too close to the Toone's home," said Steve Garside, Assistant City Attorney of Layton, Utah.
Authorities believe the tablets released a deadly poisonous gas that seeped into the house through cracks and crevices. The whole family became sick, but the littlest members never recovered. Rebecca was the first to go. Baby Rachel died three days later.
"They basically suffocated," said Garside.
The exterminator has pled not guilty to negligent homicide and claims, "There's no evidence I did anything that harmed anybody. It's been very difficult the last 6 months. It's just going to get worse."
Little Rebecca's favorite color was yellow, and she was known for singing with her dad. Rachel loved car rides, ducks and dolls. Her sweet smile touched everyone who met her.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has now banned the use of Fumitoxin around homes.
The exterminator's trial is scheduled for May. If convicted, he faces a $2,500 fine and up to one year in jail on each count of negligent homicide.