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Wife, daughters die trying to save father in Bucks Co. tragedy

By Will Lewis, Reporter, WLewis@wfmz.com
Published On: Apr 16 2013 07:00:00 PM CDT
Updated On: Apr 17 2013 10:15:44 AM CDT

We are learning new details about the shocking deaths of a family of four from the Quakertown area of Bucks County.

MILFORD TWP., Pa. -

We are learning new details about the shocking deaths of a family of four from the Quakertown area of Bucks County.

Authorities say all four members of the Milford Township family died of carbon monoxide poisoning.

The Bucks County DA tells us the father, apparently killed himself, and his wife and two daughters then died trying to save him.

Bucks County District Attorney, David Heckler says the incident started as a fight between Gary Reitnauer, 59, and his wife Michele, 58.

He says Gary Reitnauer then went to an empty home on the property, parked his car in the garage, broke the handle off the garage door, and then started his car.

Fire crews came to this home just after 11:00 Monday night to perform a welfare check on the Milford Township, Bucks County family.

“It's just unbelievable," said Paul Moser, a worker at Mayer's Well Drilling Company. "You would have never thought it of them."

Investigators say the bodies of Gary, Michele and their two adopted daughters from China, Jamie, 10, and Kim, 16, were in the home and crews were not able to revive them.

"The house was clearly filled with high levels of carbon monoxide from a vehicle which was running," added a state police detective.

Heckler says Michelle was found in the garage and both daughters in the kitchen next to the garage.

Friends of Kim Reitnauer are devastated.

"She was one of the most amazing people that I have met," said Kim's classmate Alicia Loch.

"She was so special, so kind, so talented and anyone that came in contact with her she just made that person feel so much better," said another Quakertown High School student.

Others talked about how nice the parents were.

“Always laughing and carrying on and always had a good word to say," said Moser. "So this is a real shock to us.”

The Quakertown Community School District says counselors will be on hand to help grieving students and teachers.

Students at Quakertown High have organized a Wear Pink Day in honor of Kim.

The coroner will perform autopsies on the family Wednesday.