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5 adults found dead in Colorado apartment likely died of accidental fentanyl overdose, officials say

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Posted at 7:52 AM, Feb 21, 2022
and last updated 2022-02-21 14:49:51-05

COMMERCE CITY, Colo. — Officials believe the five adults found dead inside a Colorado apartment on Sunday likely died of an unintentional fentanyl overdose.

"The evidence suggests that the five people who died last night died from a drug overdose and that the drug overdose was fentanyl," According to 17th Judicial District Attorney Brian 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.

Police found the five adults - three women and two men - dead inside North Range Crossings Apartments after they received multiple reports of unconscious people in one of the apartment units

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

The Associated Press reported that Commerce City Police Chief Clint Nichols did not know if the child was a boy or a girl.

He added that it's unclear if the baby's parents were among the deceased, the news outlet reported.

Nichols said the infant is fine and the woman is "lucid" and was talking with police after they arrived.

As police investigated at the scene, they found substances that can "be described as illicit narcotics," according to the department. They did not find hazardous gas in the apartment.

"Fentanyl is ravaging our community, and it is extraordinarily dangerous. It's lethal, and it's fast," Mason said. "Drug cartels love fentanyl. It's good for their business model. It's cheaper for them to make. It's easy for them to distribute. They can lace it in all of their other drugs, like cocaine, like heroin.

Police have not described how the victims may have known each other.

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."

Robert Garrison and Russell Haythorn at KMGH first reported this story.