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Funeral held for 11-year-old Boone hotel victim

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ROCK HILL, S.C. -- An 11-year-old boy was buried Sunday after a death that North Carolina's top health administrator said should never have happened.

WSOC reported that Jeffrey Lee Williams’ funeral was held in his hometown of Rock Hill, S.C. just more than a week since his death.

Williams was the third person to die from carbon monoxide poisoning in the same Boone hotel room within about two months.

Jeffrey Williams and his mother were found unresponsive in their second-story room at the Best Western at 840 E. King St. on June 8.

Jeffrey Williams was pronounced dead and his mother was rushed to the hospital. The two were vacationing at the time.

On April 16, police said two elderly people, Shirley and Daryl Jenkins, were found dead in the same room, 225.

A Watauga County medical examiner resigned Friday after investigators found out he knew carbon monoxide killed the couple in the hotel a week before Williams died in the same room.

Dr. Brent Hall did not notify local health officials who could have shut down the hotel.

Boone Police Chief Dana Crawford said if his department knew there was a carbon monoxide death in the room, they would have worked with fire officials to find the leak.

He said it took investigators just hours to trace it back to a pool water heater after Williams’ death.

The state completed its toxicology report proving carbon monoxide killed the first couple on June 1.

And, even though Boone police requested that report “weeks before,” police said they didn’t receive it until June 10, two days too late to prevent Jeffrey Williams’ death.

North Carolina health secretary Aldona Wos said the deaths should have never happened and the state is reviewing its role in the troubled investigation.

Family members said Jeffrey Lee Williams will be greatly missed. They said he loved video games and playing the violin.

South Carolina will adopt a new set of building codes next month that will require carbon monoxide detectors and alarms in new and existing homes, hotels, dorms and even some apartments.

North Carolina currently does require CO detectors in new homes, but not in hotels.

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