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Press Release: Deakin Street deaths caused by carbon monoxide

From the Berkeley Police Department via Nixle
Friday February 03, 2017 - 06:38:00 PM

The Berkeley Police Department confirms the death of Roger and Valerie Morash was caused by acute carbon monoxide intoxication and believe their deaths was a tragic accident.  

It took some time to determine the cause – autopsy findings, toxicology reports, necropsy, and other tests – however; our goal was to provide the family of the decedents with the most accurate answers regarding the death of their loved ones. During the course of the investigation Berkeley police investigators collected various items within the apartment to test for toxins. The State of California Public Health Department determined none were present. Necropsy examinations were performed on the couple’s two cats. Results determined the cause of death was carbon monoxide.  

Investigators are still trying to identify the specific source of the carbon monoxide. Out of an abundance of caution, investigators reached out to the landlord to coordinate tests and inspections for Unit-4. In order to conduct the tests in the safest manner possible, investigators wanted to arrange for the building to be unoccupied. Investigators did not order anyone to evacuate their apartments. The proposed tests have been cancelled while the Department works through the residents’ concerns. Investigators are focused on trying to determine the source of the carbon monoxide in order to provide peace of mind to the families and residents of the building. 

The Berkeley Police Department extends our deepest condolences to the family and friends of Roger and Valerie Morash. 

We would like to thank the Alameda County Coroner’s Bureau, the State of California Public Health Department-Microbial Diseases and Pathogen Section, Pacific Gas and Electric Company, the Berkeley City Animal Care Services, and the Berkeley Fire Department for their assistance in this investigation.