NORTH BAY -- The sister of a North Bay man who tragically died with his girlfriend on New Year’s Day near South River is speaking out and is thanking supporters from across the north.

Grace Kehoe lost her younger brother, Markus, after he and his girlfriend died while winter camping in Laurier Township.

"He was my best friend," Grace said. "If I went out to the mall, that's who I’d go with when I was younger. And if I was playing Barbies, that's who would play with me. We did everything together."

Grace describes her brother as a bright, young man, with a sense of humour who always had her back.

Markus was winter camping with his 22-year-old girlfriend, Chryse Nadeau from Val Caron, on the night of New Year's Eve near South River, south of North Bay.

The couple left the campsite and went into a nearby building which had a generator inside of it. Grace said both of them tragically lost their lives almost instantly.

Both victim’s families were told by the coroner that they died from carbon monoxide poisoning.

"I would give anything in the world to hear him one more time or for him to just say my name," Grace said while fighting back tears. “There are no words to describe him. There was just a feeling he would give you. We were really close."

Markus graduated from Widdifeld Secondary School in North Bay and was living in Chelmsford. He loved cars and karaoke. He had graduated from a police foundations program and had aspirations to become a RCMP officer.

"He was so bright, kind and very, very hardworking," Grace said.

Fire officials are stressing the importance of always having a carbon monoxide detector with you when staying in sheds or ice shacks because it can save your life.

"Wherever there is cooking or heating with an outdoor appliance, there is a potential risk of carbon monoxide," North Bay Fire Department’s Fire Prevention Captain Sheri Korn said. 'Ensure you are protected with carbon monoxide alarms."

Two Go Fund Me pages have been launched to help both families with funeral costs and Grace said the outpouring of support from all over the north means so much.

"We wouldn't be able to send him home without the help of everyone,” she said. "It's because of everyone who donated, we get to give Markus what he deserves, a proper way to honour him."

A link to Markus' Go Fund Me can be found here. A separate link to Chryse Nadeau’s Go Fund Me page can be found here.