The utility that cut off power to a Maryland home days before Rodney Todd and his seven children were found dead says it didn't cut him off for not paying bills—because it never sent him any. Delmarva Power says it shut off power to the rented home in October; Todd moved there in November and it says there was no request to have it reconnected. The utility says it cut off electricity for safety reasons when workers discovered a stolen meter on March 25, reports the Baltimore Sun, which notes that state law makes it difficult for utilities to cut off service for unpaid bills between Nov. 1 and March 31, but service can be cut off without notice in the case of hazardous conditions or illegal connections. Police believe Todd, 36, and the children were poisoned by carbon monoxide from a generator.
"It appears as though they were sleeping," Princess Anne Police Chief Scott Keller tells the AP. "Probably it was bedtime and they decided they needed some light and probably some heat. Even though it was spring, we were having some pretty chilly nights." Todd was a kitchen worker at the University of Maryland Eastern Shore, where his supervisor tells the Sun he was a private man who didn't ask for help. "He was just low-key. Took care of his kids," she says. "I'm just numb. Like it's a nightmare, but it's not," the children's mother, whose divorce from Todd was finalized last fall, tells the AP. "If I had known he was without electricity, I would have helped." She says she paid child support until she lost track of the family when Todd last moved.