The home was gutted by fire on Dec. 13, 2013. (Source: CBS 5 News)
Dr. Joyce Bonenberger, Dennis Brough and Trevor Brough. (Source: CBS 5 News)
FLORENCE, AZ (CBS5) -
Autopsy reports released by the Pinal County Sheriff's Office Wednesday show two members of a Casa Grande-area family died of smoke inhalation in a house fire on Dec. 13.
Pathologists, however, could not reach a definitive cause of death for a third family member, Dr. Joyce Bonenberger, who was the chief of surgery at the Casa Grande Regional Medical Center.
"The autopsy reports definitely add further suspicion to this case (and point to) a gigantic puzzle," said PCSO spokesman Tim Gaffney.
Autopsies ruled that Dennis Brough, 50, and Trevor Brough, 11, both died from smoke inhalation.
Trevor Brough had naloxone, also known as Narcan, in his system Gaffney said referring to the autopsy report.
"Narcan is a drug that's commonly used by medical personnel to combat when someone is overdosed on heroin, morphine, another type of pain medication," Gaffney said.
Gaffney said though Bonenberger owned a private practice, she wasn't the only one with access to narcotics.
"Her husband was the bookkeeper, the office manager, worked there, so there's access to drugs there," Gaffney said.
Pathologists said Bonenberger suffered skull fractures, but had no signs of smoke in her lungs.
"She was deceased before the fire began because she never breathed it in," said Gaffney.
Her autopsy report stated Bonenberger tested positive for morphine and codeine.
"The medical examiner's office is not able to give us a cause of death for her," Gaffney said.
Dr. Frank LoVecchio, co-director of Banner Good Samaritan Poison and Drug Information Center, said at face value, the levels of morphine and codeine in Bonenberger did not appear lethal.
He also pointed out that codeine breaks down into morphine in the body.
While we don't know why Bonenberger's son Trevor had Narcan in his system, a drug used to revive patients who've overdosed on opiates, LoVecchio said it's not uncommon for paramedics and other medical personal to give it to an unconscious patient, just to be safe.
"So, if you pulled somebody out of a fire or pulled somebody out of even a car accident and it seemed obvious they were in a car accident, and, you say look maybe this doesn't make sense, you would commonly give Narcan because it could be life-saving, even though it seemed like maybe they had banged their head because the downside is so low."
Neighbors tried breaking a window and yelling inside when the fire broke out.
But by the time fire crews arrived, the house at the Desert Highlands subdivision in unincorporated Pinal County was engulfed in flames.
"The fire did burn for quite some time in the residence, possibly even several hours before it was ever reported, before neighbors saw the flames," Gaffney said.
Dennis Brough's body was found in the garage, Bonenberger's body was located in the master bedroom face down on the bed and Trevor Brough's body was discovered in a bedroom, PCSO authorities said.
Copyright 2014 CBS 5 (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.
PCSO: Autopsies point to 'gigantic puzzle' in Casa Grande fire deathsMore>>
Wednesday, February 12 2014 5:19 PM EST2014-02-12 22:19:06 GMT
We're learning more about the family whose lives were claimed in a house fire in Casa Grande Friday. A husband, wife, and their 11-year-old son are believed to be the ones who died. Neighbors triedMore >
We're learning more about the family whose lives were claimed in a house fire in Casa Grande Friday. A husband, wife and their 11-year-old son are believed to be the ones who died.
Tuesday, July 29 2014 9:20 AM EDT2014-07-29 13:20:26 GMT
U.S. Marshals are joining the manhunt for an Arizona inmate who escaped from a central Arizona jail.More >
U.S. Marshal David Gonzales of the Arizona District said Thursday that federal agents will work with local officials to locate Wade Cole Dickinson, who escaped from the Camp Verde Detention Center at around 2:30 p.m. on July 12.More >
They were born just two weeks apart. A 10-week-old baby and 8-week-old pit bull have a fascinating relationship. They absolutely adore each other! Louisiana native Brandi Hodges, 25, has posted photosMore >
A 10-week-old baby and 8-week-old Pitbull have a fascinating relationship. They absolutely adore each other!More >
Tuesday, July 29 2014 9:38 AM EDT2014-07-29 13:38:06 GMT
Arizona Attorney General Tom Horne is asking for a temporary restraining order on the office of Maricopa County Attorney Bill Montgomery to keep MCAO from investigating allegations of campaign mismanagement.More >
Arizona Attorney General Tom Horne is asking for a temporary restraining order on the office of Maricopa County Attorney Bill Montgomery.More >
Tuesday, July 29 2014 9:53 AM EDT2014-07-29 13:53:10 GMT
Change is in the wind for the quiet border town of San Luis, AZ. The farming community may soon be home to a massive solar wind tower.More >
Change is in the wind for the quiet border town of San Luis, AZ. The farming community may soon be home to a massive solar wind tower - the sheer enormity of which would make it a new Arizona landmark.More >