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Adams County coroner identifies 5 dead of likely fentanyl poisoning

commerce city fentanyl
Posted at 11:02 AM, Feb 22, 2022

DENVER – The Adams County coroner on Tuesday identified the five people who died in a Commerce City apartment over the weekend and said their deaths are thought to be drug-related pending the results of toxicology testing.

They were identified as Sabas Daniel Marquez, 24; Humberto Arroyo-Ledezma, 32; Karina Joy Rodriguez, 28; Stephine Sonya Monroe, 29; and Jennifer Danielle Cunningham, 32.

“The cause of all deaths is pending toxicology testing but is believed to be drug related,” said Chief Coroner Monica Broncucia-Jordan.

Brian Mason, the 17th Judicial District Attorney, and Commerce City police both said Monday the five likely died of fentanyl poisoning after they believed they were taking cocaine.

"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."

The five adults were found dead inside the apartment in the 14400 block of E. 104th Avenue on Sunday afternoon. A 29-year-old woman survived and was taken to a hospital, and the 4-month-old child of one of the people who died was unharmed, police said.

“Fentanyl’s no good, man,” said Dan Marquez, the father of the younger Marquez, in an interview Monday. “It’s the devil. It must have just took them, just like that. All five of them."

Commerce City police said they were “aggressively pursuing leads on where the narcotics were obtained and will vigorously pursue charges for those who sold/provided the drugs.”

According to the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment, as of Monday, the department had recorded 1,659 drug overdose deaths among Colorado residents in 2021.

Of those, 1,104 involved some sort of opioid, said Kirk Bol, MSPH, the manager of the Vital Statistic Program. And 803 drug overdose deaths involved fentanyl of some form.