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Wednesday, Nov. 26, 2014

Carbon monoxide leak suspected in death of 2 Mormon missionaries in Taiwan

By Morgan Jacobsen, Deseret News

Published: Sun, Aug. 24 5:30 p.m. MDT

 From left, Elder Yu Peng Xiong, 24, of Kaohsiung, Taiwan, and Elder Connor Thredgold, 19, of Springville, died in their apartment over the weekend while serving as missionaries for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in the Taiwan Taipei Mission. News reports in Taipei indicate that their deaths were likely caused by a carbon monoxide leak.

From left, Elder Yu Peng Xiong, 24, of Kaohsiung, Taiwan, and Elder Connor Thredgold, 19, of Springville, died in their apartment over the weekend while serving as missionaries for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in the Taiwan Taipei Mission. News reports in Taipei indicate that their deaths were likely caused by a carbon monoxide leak.

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SALT LAKE CITY — Two LDS missionaries who died while serving in Taiwan are believed to have been killed by a carbon monoxide leak in their apartment, according to news reports in Taipei.

Connor Benjamin Thredgold, 19, of Springville, and Yu Peng Xiong, 24, of Kaohsiung, Taiwan, were found dead in their apartment Saturday in New Taipei City’s Sanchong District.

The two had been reported missing by other missionaries, and police discovered the bodies during a house visit, according to the Taiwan News. Investigators later found a faulty gas water heater, which they believe was the source of the poisonous gas leak, according to the Taipei Times.

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has not yet confirmed their cause of death, but no foul play is suspected, said church spokeswoman Jessica Moody. Press reports indicate that police have closed the case.

Xiong had been serving as a missionary since March 2013, and Thredgold had been serving since March of this year.

"We pray for their families and for all those who knew them, and express our love and deepest sympathies at this tragic time," Moody said.

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1. runnerguy50
Virginia Beach, Va,
Aug. 24, 2014

My heart breaks for these families though I don't know them. I'm praying for these families tonight.

2. 2¢
Provo, UT,
Aug. 24, 2014

My thoughts have been for the families of these two young men. Each I am sure was diligently doing their best in The Lord's service.

Having sent out 2 sons and a daughter I know the hear-ache they must be feeling with this tragedy.

I think if I were sending out anymore as a father I would supply each with a co2 detector to travel with them.

3. patriot
Cedar Hills, UT,
Aug. 24, 2014

I have to say that as a missionary we never had our appartment inspected and some of the places we lived in were pretty low budget and broken down. The one thing the Church should do is have someone from the area in the stake be assigned to inspect the apartment regularly. This is something that should never happen.

4. Big Bubba
Herriman, UT,
Aug. 24, 2014

My prayers are with the families.

Whenever I travel I take my portable, battery-powered CO detector along. CO deaths can be prevented with a $25.00 detector.

5. Malihini
Northern, UT,
Aug. 24, 2014

I know the church wants these missionaries living in the local communities, among the local people (I did that in a big eastern US city as a missionary and lived in some very questionable apartments) but if they want to send out 80,000 missionaries then they should be able to cover the cost of putting them in cars, not bicycles or even reliant on public transportation, and should put them in nicer, middle class apartments with security and more modern safety features.

I traveled to Africa on a business trip, into a remote area, and stayed in nicer, secure locations. It doesn't have to be first class, luxury apartment living, but they can be better, more secure and safe accommodations than what missionaries currently have.

I think the church needs to seriously look at this and upgrade their current standards, even if that means missionaries have to live outside their area and travel in everyday.