Families, friends cope with loss of two killed by carbon monoxide
By Erin Alberty
The Salt Lake TribuneFirst published May 12 2014 10:09PM
Andrea Price spent Mother’s Day with her son, but not as she’d planned.
"I went to the funeral home yesterday and spent two hours with him," Price said of her 21-year-old son Tyler Utley, who died Friday of carbon monoxide poisoning at his father’s Richfield home. "I listened to music with him. I hugged him. I kissed him."
"That was my baby."
The bodies of Utley and his stepbrother, Joey Julander Tong, 17, were found about 7:30 p.m. Friday when their father got home from work, police have said. Two teenage girls who were at the house also were sickened but survived, police said.
Kolton Austin had been friends with Tong since sixth grade, when both boys were new kids in their class in Castle Dale.
"If you ever had a problem, he’d be there for you," Austin recalled. Tong liked music, dirt bikes and outdoor sports, Austin said.
Utley was "a country boy through and through," Price said. He lived with Price, also of Richfield, but was visiting his father’s home Friday when a generator was running inside the house. Power had been shut off Wednesday due to non-payment, but the reason for the unpaid bill was not clear. Price said the family was not in financial straits as was previously reported.
Friends and family of Utley and Tong are invited to Magleby Mortuary in Richfield 6 p.m. Thursday to celebrate Utley and Tong’s lives.
A memorial service for Tong will be held 9:30 a.m. at the LDS chapel in Marysvale; burial will be at the Marysvale Cemetery. Utley’s family is holding a private funeral. Family and friends clarified earlier reports indicating Utley’s religious affiliation; he was not a member of a church.
Memorial funds have been set up in each victim’s name at Zion’s Bank, said Kevin Kitchen, spokesman for the two families.