Girlfriend describes how her Marine boyfriend died of CO poisoning

The Sagebrush Apartments in Meridian.

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by Karen Zatkulak

Bio | Email | Follow: @KTVBKaren

KTVB.COM

Posted on November 12, 2012 at 6:38 PM

Updated Monday, Dec 2 at 3:45 PM

NAMPA -- An 18-year-old Marine is dead from carbon monoxide poisoning.  Now, those who loved him try to deal with his tragic and sudden death. Private McQuen Forbush was back in Idaho on his first leave.

His family tells us he joined the military in June of this year, after he graduated from Columbia High School. He was staying with his girlfriend at an apartment in Meridian for the weekend.

His mother, Gretchen Hymas, says he got into town on Thursday and was set to leave on Saturday night.

But Hymas tells us a faulty water heater caused carbon monoxide to fill the room he was staying in and take his life on Saturday.

The owner of the complex, Sagecrest Apartments, tells us they're still looking into exactly what happened. 

First Rate Property Management owner Tony Drost says right now all they know is that the water heater in the unit malfunctioned.

Forbush was there overnight with his girlfriend Bre Halowell. Halowell was able to recover, but the 18-year-old Marine did not.

Through tears, Hymas said, "It helps to know that there is a God and he has a plan, I wish he would clue us into that plan sometimes."

McQuen Forbush's plan for the Veterans Day weekend was to spend his first leave from the Marines with his girlfriend and his family.

He saw his mother Friday night, but by Saturday, her son was suddenly gone.  "I got a call Saturday afternoon from Bre, his girlfriend, her mom, that I needed to get over to the apartment complex because they couldn't wake him up," Hymas said.

Hymas says by the time she got to the apartment where he'd been staying, it was too late. "His blood levels were 57 when the fatal is 30, so he was way over that," she said.

A deadly level of carbon monoxide that Hymas says came from the water heater inside the unit.

Halowell says they both began to feel dizzy the night before as they fell asleep, but added they had no idea the poisonous gas was leaking into their room.

"I knew something was wrong with him, but my mind wasn't even registering what had happened all night," said Halowell.

Halowell says when she woke up the next morning, she called for help. "He was at the end of the bed on the floor, and I was shaking him, on his stomach, trying to wake him, I keep checking for a pulse because I didn't want to believe it," she said.

Now, both Halowell and Forbush's mother wear his Marine tags around their necks, as they try to figure what caused his horrifying death, and how to remember his young life. 

"I want him to be remembered as a Marine, that's all he ever wanted to be, that he was a good kid," Hymas said.

Halowell spent all night in the hospital recovering. 

A vigil is planned for Forbush at his home at 2007 S. Churchill Drive in Nampa at 5:30 p.m.  Monday.

His family tells us his viewing will take place from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Friday at Russon Mortuary in Farmington.

They tell us Forbush's funeral will be held at 11 a.m. Saturday for family members at a church in Farmington.

There is also a Facebook page set up in his honor, called Remembering McQuen Forbush.

 

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