Poisonous gas from faulty heating equipment is the suspected cause of death, according to a spokesman for the Meridian Police Department.
The man’s girlfriend found him unresponsive Saturday on the bedroom floor of an apartment in the 1800 block of East Overland Road in Meridian. She called for help just before 1 p.m.
“She didn’t feel right. She knew something was wrong, but shereally didn’t know what it was,” Meridian Police Deputy Chief Tracy Basterrechea said Sunday.
The woman was ill and was hospitalized, officials said.
Paramedics responded to the scene but determined that the victim was already dead. Basterrechea said he was a U.S. Marine home on leave who was staying at a friend’s apartment.
The Ada County coroner will release his name Monday, but the family of McQuen Forbush has already posted a Facebook page in his honor — and many messages of fond memories.
Forbush graduated from Columbia High School in Nampa this year.
“He was such a polite and hard-working young man, who had a great sense of humor once you got to know him. This is such a tragedy,” wrote Becky Strawser, who identified herself as one of Forbush’s former teachers.
A posting on the “Remembering McQuen Forbush” Facebook page says that a water heater in a bedroom of the apartment malfunctioned.
“We do believe that it is carbon monoxide poisoning but we have to wait on the results of the tests,” Basterrechea said.
Initial tests showed high levels of the colorless, odorless gas in the apartment, which is part of a fourplex.
Carbon monoxide is produced by many household items, including gas and oil-burning furnaces, portable generators and charcoal grills.
About 500 U.S. deaths are caused each year by carbon monoxide poisoning, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Battery-operated carbon monoxide detectors are recommended in or near all bedrooms, and generators should be operated at least 20 feet from homes.
Basterrechea said a heating company has been brought in to check the system in the apartment complex.
A candlelight vigil is planned for 5:30 p.m. Monday at 2007 S. Churchill Drive in Nampa. Forbush’s family is asking that in lieu of flowers, donations be sent to the Wounded Warrior Project, woundedwarriorproject.org.
Katy Moeller: 377-6413