Couple found dead in Elkhart County home - Fox 28: South Bend, Elkhart IN News, Weather, Sports

Couple found dead in Elkhart County home

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Family and friends leaned on each other in the driveway of a house in the 56000 Block of Shore Avenue Thursday.  They showed up at the home after learning 28-year-old Mitchell Rider and his girlfriend 28-year-old Jamie Hooker were found dead inside.

"She was a special girl," says Hooker's Mom Connie Love.   Love says Rider's dad hadn't heard from the couple.  She says he went to check on them around noon on Thursday.  She says he found a car running in the garage with a door open, and the couple dead upstairs.

"He himself was overcome with the carbon monoxide and thank goodness he had already called 911," Love says.  "They (paramedics) were on the way and found him passed out in the home as well."  Love says Rider's dad was taken to the hospital, but he is expected to be ok.

Now the family is left gathering the couple's belongings as they grieve.  "I remember the first day I met Mitch he was so nice and polite," Love says.  "I just kind of slapped him on the knee and said, 'loosen up.'  He was a good kid."

Hooker's Cousin Shane Rucker was also on the scene helping clean out the house Thursday.  "It's hard for us to deal with because she's not here, we don't get to be with her, but we know she's in a better place,"  Rucker says. 

"I would definitely tell her I love her and I'm going to miss her.  I'll see her again one day.  I know she is free to be who she is," Love says. 

Family members say Hooker was passionate about taking care of her animals.  That's why it was also hard to discover the couple's pets passed away.  "Two blue and gold Macaws and their two dogs," Love says. 

The following is information released from the Elkhart County Sheriff's Department:

ELKHART- Today at approximately 12:39pm, Sheriff's Deputies began an investigation into the death of two subjects who were found deceased inside of their home at 56788 Shore Ave. in Elkhart.  Early indications suggest that carbon monoxide poisoning was a factor in this case; however, a final ruling into the deaths of 28 year old Mitchell Rider and 28 year old Jamie Hooker is still under review.  The Elkhart County Sheriff's Department and the Elkhart County Coroner's office are continuing to investigate.

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