Toxic fumes in apartment killed Las Cruces woman

Posted at: 01/08/2013 2:12 PM
By: The Associated Press

LAS CRUCES, N.M. (AP) - Authorities say melting plastic appears to be the source of toxic fumes that caused the death of a Las Cruces woman.

Las Cruces police say 41-year-old Penny Padilla was found dead in her apartment last Thursday evening.

Police and city fire investigators say they later discovered a toaster and pans inside the kitchen's oven.

Plastic handles from the pans and parts of the toaster were found melted inside the electric oven.

Authorities say Padilla apparently turned the stove on to prepare a meal, but failed to remove the plastic items from the oven.

Investigators also found evidence of smoke around the oven's door, but no sign that there was a fire.

The New Mexico Medical Investigator's Office says it has determined that Padilla died as a result of smoke inhalation.

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