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Sheriff: Man poisoned by "silent killer"

By: Tim Johnston Email
By: Tim Johnston Email

FRANKLIN COUNTY, Ky. (WKYT) - It was in a little building behind a home on Flat Creek Road, in Franklin County, where family members found their son passed out, Tuesday evening.

"When EMS arrived on scene they were working on the patient trying to revive him," stated Sheriff Pat Melton.

The family identified the victim as their 41-year-old son, Kenneth Witten Junior, who was home on his day off from work. Sheriff Melton says at this point in the investigation it appears a silent killer got to him.

"It appears, preliminarily right now, that he died of carbon monoxide poisoning. He had a propane heater it wasn't lit, (but) it was on."

The Witten family declined to comment on camera but says their son will be sorely missed. They say they will lay him to rest this weekend in Paintsville. According to Witten's mother's facebook page, the visitation will be Friday from 5-9 p.m. The funeral will follow on Saturday at 10 a.m. at the Phelps & Sons funeral home.

"This appears to be just a tragic deal with a 41-year-old young man losing his life," said Sheriff Melton, who added that this carbon monoxide related death is a first for him.

However, the Sheriff's bigger concern is that carbon monoxide poisonings can be fairly common for this time of year.

"I know I see it on the news every year, this time of the year, you see this happening. Everybody's getting their heaters on, and everything else. It's a great time to check your carbon monoxide detectors, make sure they have fresh batteries in them, it very well may save your life."

Sheriff Melton says the autopsy is still being finalized.

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