NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) — Carbon monoxide poisoning caused the death of a woman in the Oakleaf Forest public housing community in December, according to the Tidewater Chief Medical Examiner’s Office.
31-year-old Ariel Cherry died inside a home in the 1700 block of Greenleaf Drive on Dec. 20. Police said they responded to the residence around 8:20 p.m. and found Cherry dead inside.
Donna Price, a spokesperson for the regional medical examiner’s office, confirmed to 10 On Your Side investigators that Cherry’s death was accidental and caused by carbon monoxide toxicity.
Carbon monoxide toxicity — or poisoning — happens when a person is exposed to the gas and it builds up in their bloodstream, replacing the oxygen in their red blood cells, according to the Mayo Clinic.
Oakleaf Forest is a public housing community that is operated by the Norfolk Redevelopment Housing Authority.
The day after Cherry’s death, the NRHA said confirmed there was “an incident” in a public housing community that resulted in a fatality.
NRHA spokeswoman Jennifer Moore declined to comment on Cherry’s death.