Woman and mechanic die of carbon monoxide poisoning allegedly while having sex in a garage

According to reports, the bodies of a 39-year-old woman and a 56-year-old mechanic was found by her husband in the garage. The car had its engine on.


                            Woman and mechanic die of carbon monoxide poisoning allegedly while having sex in a garage

Ingesting carbon monoxide fumes reportedly led to the death of a married woman and her alleged 'lover' while the pair were 'having sex' in a parking garage in Newark, N.J, law enforcement sources told NBC New York. On Monday night, 39-year-old Tameka Hargrave and the 56-year-old mechanic, who has not yet been identified, were found dead in a parking garage by her husband Kahali Johnson.

A source in law enforcement told NBC that Hargrave was allegedly having sex with the mechanic in order to pay for his work done on her vehicle. According to the husband, he smelled a strong odor in his home as he entered the apartment on Monday night. As he began investigating the smell, an alarm went off, leading him directly to the garage, where he found his car to be running. To his dismay, he found the mechanic, who appeared to be looking at the car from outside, while his wife was lying motionless on the ground. He subsequently called the police just before 9 pm.

"As I tried to step to open the last garage door, I see the mechanic, he's laid out," Johnson said. "She's just a few feet away, she's laid out. And pretty much I had to call 911, because at this time, with that level of emissions, I knew that they were gone."

As soon as law enforcement officers responded to the apartment complex, they pronounced both Hargrave and the mechanic dead. The death “appeared to be accidental”, according to Catherine Adams, spokesperson for the Newark police. "This incident is under investigation, but appears to be accidental," Adams said.

As a safety precaution, deputies evacuated the entire building and transported one person to the hospital to be examined. Meanwhile, the husband said the deaths of his wife and the mechanic were caused due to carbon monoxide poisoning. "Basically she died because of carbon monoxide," Johnson said. "They do not have adequate alarm systems, because if there had been an alarm in that garage, people would have been alerted to the fact that it was going on." 

In a conversation with CBS, Hargrave's mother revealed that when she last spoke with her daughter at around 5.30 pm, she had been going to get an oil filter from her mechanic. Kelly Mitchell, a friend of Hargrave's family, said she couldn't digest the fact that she had died. "We want to know why — what was she doing in the car? We don't know," she said. 

Her family attributed Hargrave's death to the absence of carbon monoxide alarms in the garage. They further informed that she was a mother to two girls. Khalisha Johnson, one of her daughters, said too stressed upon the absence of alarms installed considering that other security precautions were taken by the building, according to CBS. "I just want my mother back. I want her to see me graduate high school. I can't do that," she said.

Residents of the apartment complex also said they witnessed at least one other person being carried away on a stretcher, although law enforcement did not confirm any other casualties due to carbon monoxide poisoning.

Exhaust fumes from a car in Putney High Street on January 10, 2013 in Putney, England. (Photo by Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images)
Exhaust fumes from a car in Putney High Street on January 10, 2013 in Putney, England. (Photo by Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images)

While police believe their deaths were accidental, the male victim is yet to be identified. Deaths due to carbon monoxide poisoning in immobile but running cars are common. Quite a few cases have been reported in which the victims resorted to poisoning themselves as a way of committing suicide.

Back in December 2017, in a similar news, it was reported that a teenage girl died due to carbon monoxide poisoning while having sex in a car and keeping the engine running. After reportedly being seduced by a male racer, 15-year-old Alena Styukhina was killed when toxic fumes filled up a garage in Russia. The racer, 22-year-old Artyom Dorogov allegedly kept the engine running for warmth.

Following the tragedy in the Russian village of Zemetchino, Dorogov was accused of underage sex as well as involuntary manslaughter. Dorogov met Alena when she came to visit relatives in the area and allegedly led her to the garage.


According to the New York Post, the pair felt unwell as the toxic fumes filled up the garage. However, in an attempt to leave the vehicle, Dorogov passed out. While Alena was still passed out inside the car, Dorogov regained consciousness in some time and reportedly left the vehicle without her. He then rushed to his relatives to tell them what had happened in the garage. When paramedics arrived at the scene, they were unable to revive Alena and declared her dead.

A police spokeswoman said at the time: “Knowing that the victim was younger than 16, the suspect had sexual intercourse with her in the car Lada Priora. The car’s engine was working to keep them warm, and the doors of the garage were closed. The autopsy showed the girl died because of carbon monoxide poisoning.”