A family member tells CBC News that at least one of the three young people found dead in a parked car outside a small northern Alberta community Tuesday died of carbon monoxide poisoning.

Emily Lawrence said a medical examiner approached her mother around noon Wednesday with the news that her cousin Tristan Dave-Lawrence, 21, had died from inhaling high levels of carbon monoxide.

Tanisha Peterson

Tanisha Peterson, 22, was the other female victim found in the car. (Facebook)

"In this cold weather, we want everyone to inform their loved ones not to leave their cars running," Emily Lawrence told CBC News on behalf of the family.

Wood Buffalo RCMP and paramedics responded to a call for assistance at about 12:25 p.m. Tuesday after three people were found by a security guard unresponsive inside the vehicle near Conklin, Alta.

Dave-Lawrence, a 29-year-old male driver and a 22-year-old woman were all pronounced dead at the scene.

The other female victim in the car has been identified by friends as Tanisha Peterson.

Police said the two-door car was on the Lagoon Access Road in a semi-remote area near Northlands Drive.

The male victim's identity is still unknown at this time.

Victim supposed to return Saturday

Dave-Lawrence loved working with people, her cousin said Wednesday.

"She spent every day of her life making sure that people knew they were loved," Lawrence said.

Dave-Lawrence would often open her home to those living on the streets when she lived in Red Deer, Lawrence said.

She left Red Deer after the holidays to work at Karen's Restaurant and Lounge, the only restaurant in Conklin, a small hamlet on Highway 881 between Fort McMurray and Lac La Biche.

Peterson was also working alongside her friend at the restaurant, where patrons said she would always greet everyone with a smile. 

3 dead in car Conklin

Three people died Tuesday after they were found unresponsive in a car on the outskirts of a northern Alberta community. (David Thurton/CBC)

"She [Peterson] would always come check up on you to see if you were OK," said restaurant regular Tiarra Tremblay.

Dave-Lawrence was supposed to be back in Red Deer to visit friends and family this weekend.

Her family wants to make sure others do not have to suffer the same loss.

"As we do live in a place where people run their cars without thinking about it … we want to protect other families from going through the same pain," Lawrence said.

"We had to lose, because of it, someone who is very important to us and to the people around her."

Wood Buffalo Victim Services is offering assistance to family, friends and witnesses in the area. Anyone in need of assistance is encouraged to contact the agency.

"Our thoughts and sympathies go out to the family, friends, and anyone who has been impacted by this incident," Wood Buffalo RCMP said in a statement.

With files from Anna Desmarais and David Thurton Articled from the CBC RSS Syndication CBC.ca - RSS Feeds Copyright is that of their respective owners (CBC).


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