The Benbrook Police Department is investigating the Saturday deaths of an 85-year-old man and his 61-year-old son who were both COVID-positive and without power in the home they shared.
Larry Eugene Shahan, the son, died of unspecified natural causes, according to the Tarrant County Medical Examiner’s Office, which is conducting the autopsies. Jeffrey Dean Shahan’s manner and cause of death weren’t listed as of Thursday afternoon. Both were pronounced dead at 4:41 p.m. Saturday, according to the medical examiner.
Police weren’t confident as of Thursday how the two died, according to Commander Michael Mullinax, a department spokesman. There’s no reason to suspect foul play or that an outside individual was involved, he said in an email.
Authorities determined the father and son had recently tested positive for the coronavirus, which put them at significant risk due to their ages and other health problems, Mullinax said.
They were without electricity for at least a while following last week’s winter storm and statewide power outages, he said. Police weren’t exactly sure how long.
“While we don’t know if this was a cause, it sure didn’t help since they were struggling with poor health,” Mullinax said.
Thousands of Texans were still without power on Saturday, after ERCOT initiated blackouts on Feb. 15 due to winter storms and record low temperatures. The agency announced an end to rotating outages on Friday, but there were some continuing issues due to damaged equipment.
Temperatures were warmer on Saturday, with a high of 57 in Fort Worth, according to the National Weather Service.