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5 people found dead in Colorado apartment

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Posted at 8:52 AM, Feb 21, 2022
and last updated 2022-02-21 15:09:03-05

COMMERCE CITY, Colo. — Authorities in Colorado are investigating after five adults were found dead inside an apartment in Commerce City Sunday afternoon.

The five likely died of an unintentional fentanyl overdose, 17th Judicial District Attorney Brian Mason said Monday.

"The evidence suggests that the five people who died last night died from a drug overdose and that the drug overdose was fentanyl," Mason said. "It also suggests they probably thought they were taking a different drug and didn't know that it was laced with fentanyl."

Mason said he believes the group was using what they thought was cocaine when in reality it was most likely fentanyl.

Commerce City Police Department says another adult and a 4-month-old child were alive inside the unit.

Officers and medical personnel from the South Adams County Fire Department responded to the apartment complex around 3:45 p.m. on a report of several unconscious people, according to a news release from the police department.

The department said officers found the five adults, three women and two men, deceased inside the unit at North Range Crossings Apartments by the time they arrived.

Commerce City Police Chief Clint Nichols told the Associated Press that "there does not appear to be any blunt trauma or any violent incident of any nature.”

Police said substances that can "be described as illicit narcotics" were located in the apartment.

The fire department was called out to conduct a hazardous gas test, which was not detected inside the unit.

"If it was drugs, no one was able to get to a phone to call 911 for a medical emergency," said Clint Nichols, Commerce City chief of police. "My understanding is the infant is doing fine, just the routine medical check-up."

Nichols said the adult female who made it out alive is "lucid" and "talking with police." He added that it's unclear if the baby's parents were among the deceased, the news outlet reported.

"There are some people dead inside an apartment and an infant lived," Nichols said. "I hope the parents were not in there, but I’ve been doing this long enough – I would probably be safe to suggest the parents probably were inside, and so for the infant, that’s going to be a long time without parents."

A friend of the victims identified them for Denver7, but out of respect for the family, we are not releasing names until confirmed by Commerce City police.

The friend did talk on the condition of anonymity.

"They were awesome people," the man said. "I've known them for 2 1/2 years and they were awesome people, so this is devastating for the community. It's a terrible situation. Rest in peace."

Commerce City Police Department detectives are on the scene along with crime scene investigators and victim advocates, the release said.

The department said more information will be released as details become available.

The names and ages of the deceased will be released at a later time.