Las Vegas Sun

January 28, 2015

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Middle school deals with teacher’s loss after 2 found dead

Death investigation

A Las Vegas middle school is grappling with the death of a teacher who died in a suspected double suicide Monday after Metro Police homicide detectives determined no foul play appeared to be involved in the two deaths.

The Clark County Coroner’s Office on Tuesday identified the man and woman who apparently suffered carbon monoxide poisoning in an apartment a day earlier.

The coroner’s office said Jeffrey Pellegrino, 35, died of carbon monoxide poisoning from inhaling charcoal fumes. His death has been ruled a suicide. The cause of death for Victoria Shannon, 41, hasn't been determined.

Starla Goedeke, a spokeswoman for the Clark County School District, said Shannon was an English and reading teacher at Escobedo Senior Middle School. She said Shannon had worked at the Clark County School District since March 2005.

Las Vegas Fire & Rescue found the two dead in an apartment in the 1600 block of Marathon Drive, near Vegas Drive and Rainbow Boulevard, after responding to a call at about 3:24 p.m. Monday that indicated there might be a gas leak in the area.

Metro Police Lt. Chris Jones said officers received a call from Shannon’s coworkers, who were concerned that she didn’t show up for work. He said one of the coworkers went to the apartment and knocked on the door, but no one answered. The coworker noticed a gas smell at the apartment and called authorities, Jones said.

No one answered the door when firefighters arrived, so firefighters entered the apartment through a window and found Shannon and Pellegrino dead inside.

Homicide detectives took over the case after there was no sign of a fire or gas leak. Jones said the investigation showed Pellegrino and Shannon had been burning charcoal in the apartment with the intent to commit suicide.

A colleague of Shannon’s said in an e-mail to the Sun that the Escobedo Senior Middle School staff is heartbroken after hearing about the death.

“She was a wonderful teacher and her kids loved her,” her colleague said.

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