Colorado apartment was scene of five fentanyl overdose deaths over weekend

Overdose deaths from illicit drug use are on the rise nationwide, particularly in relation to the highly dangerous synthetic opioid known as fentanyl.

The scourge appears to have claimed five more lives after five adults were found dead of suspected drug overdoses in a Commerce City, Colorado apartment on Sunday afternoon, the Washington Examiner reported. One adult and an infant were rescued from the residence by authorities.

Police were quick to speculate that “illicit narcotics” were the culprit after an initial test for hazardous and toxic gases by firefighters came back negative.

Victims identified; infant is safe and healthy

Local NBC affiliate KUSA reported Tuesday that the five deceased adults — two men and three women ranging in age from 24 to 32 — have since been identified, and authorities also appear to have confirmed that fentanyl was the cause of the overdose deaths.

With regard to the 4-month-old infant that was rescued, it is reportedly doing fine after a check-up. So, too, the 29-year-old woman who was also rescued from the scene and spoke with police about what had occurred after receiving medical treatment.

“I hope the parents were not in there, but I’ve been doing this long enough I would probably be safe to suggest that the parents probably were inside,” Police Chief Clint Nichols told reporters Sunday night. “And so for the infant — that’s going to be a long time without parents.”

Unfortunately, local Fox affiliate KDVR reported that Chief Nichols’ suspicions were ultimately confirmed, as both of the baby’s parents were identified as being among the five dead individuals in the apartment.

The baby is now safely with other family members, and the adult who survived the lethal drug mix has been identified as the sister of the infant’s father.

Fentanyl mixed with cocaine

Colorado Public Radio reported Monday that, according to Adams County District Attorney Brian Mason, it has been confirmed that the overdose deaths were due to fentanyl, which was suspected of being masked within a batch of cocaine — some of which could still be circulating around the Denver area, Mason warned.

What was found in that apartment was like something “out of a nightmare, like a homicide scene,” the prosecutor said. “They essentially dropped dead where they were. They didn’t have time to call for help.”

“We’re finding fentanyl in cocaine, heroin, and methamphetamine, and oxycontin and, even in limited circumstances, we found it in marijuana. This is a huge public safety crisis,” Mason said. As to the suspicion that the deceased individuals thought they were using cocaine instead of fentanyl, the prosecutor revealed, “The evidence on scene was lines of powder on glass mirrors consistent with cocaine and not fentanyl.”

The outlet noted that fentanyl overdose deaths skyrocketed in Colorado in 2021 with almost 2,000 deaths from the illicit substance. As for the dealer who sold the fatal mixture of drugs, Mason said he hopes to find that person and hold them accountable for the overdose deaths they facilitated.

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