Elkhart County Police are investigating after a couple was found dead in an Elkhart home early Thursday afternoon.
Police were called to the 56700 block of Shore Avenue just after 12:30 p.m.
When they arrived, they found 28-year-old Mitchell Rider and 28-year-old Jamie Hooker dead, along with their two pets and two dogs.
Family members say Rider's father went to the home to check on the couple when he couldn't get in touch with his son and discovered a car running in the garage.
"He himself was overcome with carbon monoxide and, thank goodness, he had already called 911," said Hooker's mother, Connie Love. "They were on the way and found him passed out in the house, as well."
Love says Rider's father was transported to the hospital and is going to be OK.
The young couple was nearing their one-year dating anniversary and family members say they were happy.
Hooker was loving person who spent much of her time training exotic animals.
"From the time she could walk, she loved animals," said her cousin, Shane Rucker. "She had two Macaws that were like her kids."
While police and the Elkhart County Coroner are still investigating, they believe carbon monoxide poisoning may have been a factor in their deaths. An official ruling is still under review.
Hooker's family members say they believed what happened was a tragic accident, but they hope police can find out more.
"I'm going to miss her," Love said. "I hope they find out what happened."