The two bodies found in an apartment complex in Mountain View on Wednesday have been identified as James Liu and his teenage son William, according to a post on the Milk Pail Market Facebook page.
Liu was the store director and the brother-in-law of Steve Rasmussen, owner of the Milk Pail Market. According to the Facebook post by Kai Rasmussen, Liu's niece, he was a "brilliant manager, buyer, and grocer who was greatly admired by our staff, customers, and vendors alike."
The cause of death for Liu and his 17-year-old son William is still under investigation, as Mountain View police continue to investigate the noxious smell that broke out at 2025 California St. and triggered an evacuation Wednesday evening. The bodies of both victims were located in one of the apartment units by fire crews.
Investigators later found that calcium sulfide and sulfuric acid were present in the the complex at 2025 California St., as well as the byproducts of both chemicals -- sulfur dioxide and hydrogen sulfide, according to Shino Tanaka, spokeswoman for the Mountain View Police Department.
Hydrogen sulfide in lower concentrations can cause nausea, eye irritation and headaches, according to the U.S. Occupational Safety & Health Administration. Higher concentrations can lead to unconsciousness, serious eye damage and death.
Sulfur dioxide is a colorless gas with a pungent odor that causes irritation to the eyes and skin, and can lead to eye damage, lung damage and skin burns.
Police are not releasing any additional information on the investigation.
Police received reports of the noxious "rotten egg" smell in the apartment complex at 6:09 p.m. Wednesday night, and evacuated residents in the area until 8 a.m. the next morning.
During the evacuation and investigation, four responding officers were sickened by the fumes and reported feeling lightheaded. They were treated and released.
Tanaka confirmed that the noxious smell was not caused by a gas leak, and that no suicide note had been left at the apartment where the two bodies were located. Police had originally suspected a gas leak caused the noxious smell, and PG&E crews shut off gas lines in the area.
Another apartment building adjacent to the complex was also evacuated, and an estimated 30 or 40 evacuees were sheltered at the nearby community center on Rengstorff Avenue.