EDGEWOOD, N.M. (KRQE) – A small high school community is grieving once again as three Moriarty High School teenagers are dead from apparent carbon monoxide poisoning. Edgewood Police say a friend of the three students found them unresponsive.

The family of 17-year-old Christopher Pearce says they feel a terrible emptiness, finding it too hard to step foot into his bedroom. “Just such a loving boy. This is so tragic for our family. His joyfulness, he laughed, his smile could brighten up a room. He was just laughing all the time and he was just a joy to be around,” said Pearce’s aunt, Connie Keyohara.

“We don’t know what to think, it’s hard to take the next breath. You don’t just plan for things like this for children. You don’t plan for expenses like this for 17-year-olds,” added Pearce’s other aunt, Maria Martinez.

The families of Christopher Pearce, Nathen Stack, along with the Moriarty-Edgewood school district – are grieving the sudden loss, after Edgewood police say a friend of the three students found them at his Edgewood home unresponsive in the garage just after 11:00 a.m. Sunday morning. The third victim’s family has asked for privacy and requested that he not be named. Police say they found a propane heater still running inside the unventilated garage. “It looks to be just a tragic accident at this point. We suspect there to be carbon monoxide poisoning,” said Edgewood Police Chief Roger Jimenez.

Pearce’s family says they want to make sure the tragic incident does not happen again. “I think that as we move forward and as we get past our grief, we just want to educate people on the dangers of using propane heat without ventilation and having smoke detectors,” added Martinez.

Pearce’s family says they want to remember the good things about him. “When I would come home, he would run out and just give me a hug,” said Pearce’s brother, Mathew Pearce.

The school district is offering counseling for students at Moriarty High. The family says Butter Crust Pizza in Moriarty will hold a fundraising event for the three teens next Wednesday to help raise funds for funeral costs.