COMMERCE CITY, Colo. (CBS4) – The Commerce City Police Department now confirms investigators received a preliminary positive test result for the presence of fentanyl on narcotics found at the scene of five deaths on Sunday night. The police department also say the victims ranged in age from 24 to 32.
Investigators responded to the North Range Crossing apartment complex on 104th Avenue when someone called 911 to report unconscious people inside.
The victims are described as follows:
Victim 1: Hispanic male, 24 years of age
Victim 2: White female, 28 years of age
Victim 3: White female, 32 years of age
Victim 4: White female, 29 years of age
Victim 5: Hispanic male, 32 years of age
A sixth adult, a 29-year-old Hispanic woman, was alive and taken to the hospital. Police only say she is receiving medical care. A child, a 4-month-old baby, was also inside. The child was taken to the hospital and was later released with “no known issues.”
Officials say Child Protective Services is involved.
Amanda Frazier saw a female survivor and the infant come out of the apartment. The infant was carried out by a police officer and a paramedic, and went straight into an ambulance, Frazier said.
She knew the people who lived there.
“It was accidental and for five people… fentanyl is scary,” she said.
At least one of those in the apartment worked as a manager at a restaurant where the owner told CBS4 she was an important member of their team.
Frazier says she talked with that victim occasionally.
“Such a kind beautiful soul… she’s put together,” she said.
The speculation is that those in the apartment may have been snorting cocaine, but got the more powerful, deadly drug fentanyl.
It is not clear what the original narcotic is, but investigators say they are looking into how the drugs were obtained and “will vigorously pursue charges for those who sold/provided the drugs.”
The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment shared preliminary numbers of drug overdoses from 2021. They say there were a total of 1,659 drug overdose deaths among Colorado residents; up from 1,477 in 2020.
Of the 1,659 deaths, 1,104 involved an opioid (prescription, fentanyl or heroin); up from 956 in 2020. In addition, of the 1,659 deaths, 803 specifically involved fentanyl; up from 540 in 2020.
CDPHE officials say they expect most of the fentanyl used was illicit, however, it’s not clear if the opioids were from a prescription or illegally obtained.
Those struggling with drug addiction can seek help by calling the the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services hotline at 1-800-622-4357 or you can text 435748 (HELP4U).