Mom, daughter killed by carbon monoxide inhalation were likely dead for days, car’s fuel had run out: Coroner

A coroner has revealed more details about the deaths of an Indiana mother and daughter found in their Evansville home last month.

As CrimeOnline previously reported, Kimbra Shanafelt, 49, and her 5-year-old daughter Dahni were discovered unresponsive in two different areas of their home on April 22 after a concerned relative went to check on them. First responders initially reported observing trauma on Kimbra’s face and body, but a subsequent autopsy found no sign of trauma or injury.

On Friday, the Vanderburgh County Coroner released the autopsy and toxicology findings, and had determined that both the mother and daughter died of carbon monoxide inhalation. Kimbra’s manner of death was listed as a suicide, while Dahni’s was ruled a homicide. Vanderburg County Sheriff Dave Wedding told CrimeOnline on Friday that his department was viewing Dahni’s death as reckless homicide, as there was no evidence that Kimbra intended for her daughter to die when she apparently took her own life in the garage of the duplex home.

How do you protect your children from predators? Join Nancy Grace and a team of world-class experts for the online course ‘Justice Nation: Crime Stops Here’.

Vanderburgh County Coroner Steve Lockyear told the Dubois County Herald that both mother and daughter likely died on the evening of April 19. He said he believes Kimbra died quickly in the garage after inhaling carbon monoxide fumes from a running vehicle, and that the toxin seeped into the home, killing Dahni. According to local reports, the relative found Dahni unresponsive and cold, partially under a bed, with evidence she had vomited.

By the time authorities arrived, the fuel in the car ran out, Lockyear told the Dubois County Herald. And Wedding told CrimeOnline that Kimbra’s body was found just outside the vehicle.

Wedding also said that Kimbra Shanafelt did not leave a suicide note, and that authorities were unaware of a precipitating event that might have led to the suicide. He said that investigators found no sign of unlawful entry into the home and no indication that the mother and daughter were harmed by an outside individual.


‘We’re not calling it a murder-suicide’: Police don’t know why Evansville mother took her own life, also killing her 5-year-old daughter — but maybe not intentionally

Coroner reveals cause of death for mom, young daughter found in Indiana home

Police stumped by bizarre deaths of 5-year-old girl and her mother after surprising autopsy results

For the latest true crime and justice news, subscribe to the ‘Crime Stories with Nancy Grace’ podcast.