Prosecutor: Fentanyl likely killed 5 in Colorado apartment
DENVER (AP) — Preliminary evidence suggests that five people found dead in an apartment in suburban Denver overdosed on fentanyl while taking what they believed to be cocaine, the district attorney said Monday.
Drug tests done at the apartment in Commerce City, about 7 miles (11 kilometers) northeast of Denver, found an “overwhelming amount” of fentanyl and cocaine, 17th Judicial District Attorney Brian Mason said. The evidence suggests the victims were snorting the substance, which is a more common way to ingest cocaine than fentanyl, when they died Sunday, he said.
Autopsies and drug testing of each victim still need to be done to confirm how they died, he said.
Mason said he is concerned that there are other people who might have drugs from the same supply as the one used by the victims, potentially putting their lives at risk too.
Fentanyl is an unpredictable and powerful synthetic painkiller that is blamed for driving an increase in fatal drug overdoses. Authorities have been finding it mixed in with cocaine, heroin, oxycontin and, in limited cases, in marijuana, Mason said.
“No drug is safe right now,” he said.
Detectives were working to determine where the drugs were obtained and “will vigorously pursue charges for those who sold/provided the drugs” police said in a statement Monday.
The three women and two men who died were found in an apartment, along with a 29-year-old woman and an infant who were alive, after officers responded to a report of an unconscious person, police said.
The names of the victims have not been released, but police said they ranged in age from 24 to 32.
The 29-year-old woman was receiving medical care, police said, while the 4-month-old infant was released after being taken to the hospital to be checked out.
Police have not said whether the baby’s parents were among those found dead.