A mixture of fentanyl and cocaine is suspected of instantly killing five people this weekend at a Denver party that resembled a mass murder, Colorado prosecutor Brian Mason said Tuesday, investigating whether another substance was among the ingredients.
Karina Rodriguez, 29, and her husband, Sam Marquez, 32, parents of a 4-month-old baby, were identified as among the dead, along with Humberto Arroyo, 24.
Authorities did not release the names of two other women who died during the party, which occurred Sunday at an apartment in Commerce City in north Denver.
Alerted by a call from a woman for help, paramedics entered the home Sunday afternoon and were met with a horrific scenario.
Authorities detailed that paramedics and firefighters initially assumed the victims were only unconscious, but that was the case for only one person, Cora Marquez (Sam’s sister,) who was transported in time to a local hospital, where she remains in intensive care.
It has not yet been established when the deaths occurred, although, based on testimony from neighbors, investigators believe the deaths occurred Sunday morning when loud noises were heard inside the apartment.
Prosecutor Mason said the investigations will expand because there are other people out there who may have the same drugs or may have purchased drugs from the same dealer.
According to the official, there will be more deaths from the same cause.
Data from the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment revealed that in this state during the last two years (2020 and 2021) 767 people died from fentanyl overdose.
At the same time, in that same period, another 1,581 people died from overdoses with other substances, mostly methamphetamine and cocaine.
In addition, in 2021 there were 42% more deaths from this cause than in 2020.