PRINCESS ANNE, Md. -- A man and his seven children found dead in their Maryland home yesterday were poisoned by carbon monoxide from a generator they were using after the power company cut off their electricity, said a couple who identified themselves as the man's mother and stepfather.

Police found the bodies at the home in Princess Anne after being contacted by a concerned co-worker of the father, who had not been seen for days. The deceased were identified only as an adult and seven people ages 6 to the teens. Police said the cause of the deaths was still under investigation.

Bonnie and Lloyd Edwards, encountered outside the home by an Associated Press reporter, said they were the mother and stepfather of Rodney Todd, 36, who they said was the adult who died. They said Todd had seven children, including five girls and two boys.

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"It was disbelief," Lloyd Edwards said. "How can you understand something like that?"

He said Delmarva Power had cut off the electricity to the house because of an outstanding bill. "To keep his seven children warm, [Todd] bought a generator," Edwards said. "It went out and the carbon monoxide consumed them." -- AP