Mysterious deaths of mother and son stun family and friends - wave3.com-Louisville News, Weather & Sports

Mysterious deaths of mother and son stun family and friends

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The mother and son lived and died in this house in the Highlands. The mother and son lived and died in this house in the Highlands.
Beatrice Burchel and her son Joseph Beliles were found dead in their Highlands home. Beatrice Burchel and her son Joseph Beliles were found dead in their Highlands home.

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - They were found dead in their Original Highlands home, and one day later, the Jefferson County Coroner said the mother and her son died of natural causes.

On Monday, the bodies of Joseph Beliles, 43, and his mother Beatrice Burchel, 69, were discovered by police who responded to the home in the1000 block of Baxter Avenue on a welfare check.

Friends and family said the son had serious health problems and they knew his mother had some too, but they never dreamt they would lose them at the same time.

"We were going to go next month to New Orleans," said Richard Beliles. From the Big Easy to France and beyond, Beliles and his son Joseph traveled everywhere together including away games for the University of Louisville.

Because Joseph was a history buff, father and son planned to meet in Williamsburg for their next outing, but when Beliles didn't hear from his son, he got worried and asked a friend to check on him at the home he shared with his mother.

Beliles said, "His friend got in (the house) and called and he could hardly talk because he was emotional and he said, I'm sorry." Beliles continued, "That's all he had to say and I knew right then, I dropped the phone."

Joseph and his mom were dead inside.

At first, investigators thought it was carbon monoxide poisoning, but the cats in the house were alive.

The coroner said both died of natural causes.

Joseph's father said, "This is the worst thing that ever happened to me, he was everything to me."

Joseph battled cancer at age 3 and again at age 10. Most recently, he had heart and breathing issues. Bea had lung problems.

Her sister Betty Allsmiller said, "She was an awesome person because she was generous and she was the most caring giving person you could ever meet."  Friends and family said Bea was a talented seamstress known for fabulous curtains.

As for Joseph? The Ballard High grad is remembered as a funny, intelligent guy who loved his job as a prep cook.

Friend Joe Webb said Bea was always helping people and her son was a gentleman who never had an unkind word.

Those who knew them said the strange circumstances of how they left this life together in some way, make sense. "He truly loved her with everything," Allsmiller said.

The coroner said Joseph, who lived upstairs, appeared to have died first, then his mom.  Both had been dead several days.

Copyright 2012 WAVE News. All rights reserved.

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2 people found dead inside Highlands home