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Baby rescued from ‘drug fuelled’ Colorado party orphaned after both parents die from likely fentanyl poisoning

Police suspect the victims may have consumed a substance laced with fentanyl

Megan Sheets
Wednesday 23 February 2022 14:43 GMT
Five people dead, baby found alive at suspected drug party in Colorado
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A four-month old baby who was rescued from a suspected drug-fuelled house party has been left orphaned after both her parents were identified as being among five people found dead in the building.

Commerce City police found the bodies of three women and two men inside a home at the North Range Crossings Apartment on Sunday afternoon.

Police Chief Clint Nichols said a sixth female adult and a four-month-old baby, later identified as Aria, were found alive at the unit. They are expected to survive.

On Tuesday, the Adams County coroner identified the five deceased as: Sabas Daniel Marquez, 24; Humberto Arroyo-Ledezma, 32; Karina Joy Rodriguez, 28; Stephine Sonya Monroe, 29; and Jennifer Danielle Cunningham, 32.

The baby’s parents were identified as Rodriguez and Marquez.

“Karina also leaves behind an older son Josiah, who was born during a previous relationship, and appeared in many family photos. Aria is reportedly doing well and is in good health,” police told the Daily Mail.

A preliminary investigation suggested the adults ingested a drug that may have been laced with fentanyl, KDVR reported.

“The evidence suggests that the five people who died last night died from a drug overdose and that the drug overdose was fentanyl,” District Attorney Brian Mason told ABC 7 Denver.

“It also suggests they probably thought they were taking a different drug and didn’t know that it was laced with fentanyl.”

He earlier told The Gazette: “This is the nightmare scenario. This is five people dying without realizing the drug they’re putting into their bodies.”

Mr Nichols said there was no evidence of hazardous gasses in the area and none of the deceased appeared to have died violently.

“It happened pretty quickly — speculation on my part,” he said, according to KDVR.

In regards to the unidentified substance, he added: “If it is going to be illicit drugs, they were very, very bad. If it was drugs, no one was able to get to a phone and call 911 for a medical emergency.”

Ian Scott, who lives next door to the apartment where the bodies were found, said he had heard a party going on there before a woman began screaming.

Mr Scott told The Denver Post he came out of his home and saw the woman “high as a kite” holding a baby and shouting into a phone. He said the woman told him she’d given a drug used to reverse overdoses to a man in the apartment.

Other neighbours said police had visited the apartment on multiple occasions in the past, The Post reported.

Mr Nichols said of the baby: “I hope the parents weren’t inside but I’ve been doing this a long enough, I would be safe to suggest the parents were inside. For the infant this going to be a long time with no parents.”

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