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A woman and her three young children found dead in their home's garage by the mother's fiance were victims of carbon monoxide poisoning, a medical examiner said.

"There was a car sitting in the garage with the motor running," and the bodies were found on the floor, said Charles Garrett, a pathologist.

Garrett said Robin Parker, 33, and the three children showed as no evidence of any other injuries.

The children -- two girls, Cartara Quantae Williams, 10, and Shonteona Marie Williams, who would have turned 3 on Wednesday, and an 11-month-old boy, QuaSean DeVon Williams -- were clad in sleepwear.

Onslow County Sheriff Ed Brown said he couldn't rule out that the deaths might have been inspired by a Houston case in which a woman is accused of drowning her five children.

Steven Williams, Parker's fiance and the father of the two youngest children, said he last saw her and the children Tuesday when they dropped him off at work. Parker never returned to take him home, he said.

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