A four-month-old girl was orphaned after her parents took her to a drug party, where they died after taking what police believe was fentanyl-laced cocaine.
Aria Marquez was found in a Commerce City apartment in Denver, Colorado on Sunday, next to the bodies of her parents Sam Marquez, 24, and Karina Rodriguez, 28, who were found dead along with two other women and a man.
Karina also left the eldest son Josiah, who was born during a previous relationship and appeared in many family photos. According to the police, Aria feels well and is in good health.
Sam’s sister Cora was the only adult to survive and is currently in the hospital but reportedly has no memory of what happened, her relatives said.
Four-month-old Aria Marquez was orphaned after her parents Sam Marquez, 24, and Karina Rodriguez died of a fentanyl-laced cocaine overdose on Sunday.
The remains were found by neighbor Ian Scott after Cora, who was described as “tall as a kite,” walked outside on Sunday holding Aria in her arms.
When Scott looked into the apartment, he found Rodriguez, Marquez, Humberto Arroyo and two other women who have not been identified but who are said to be Karina’s girlfriends.
Investigators believe they died after taking fentanyl-laced cocaine at a party after finding traces of the drug.
“It looks like they ingested fentanyl,” District Attorney Brian Mason told Fox 31. So I think they probably thought they were taking cocaine.”
The smiling baby was found in the arms of Sam’s sister Cora after she went outside “high on a kite”. She was later found quiet in the apartment of a relative who came to collect them after being unable to contact them for several hours.
However, authorities are still awaiting a toxicology report to determine the final cause of death.
“Simply exposure to fentanyl can be fatal,” Mason told Fox 31. Investigators were seen wearing hazmat suits as they entered the apartment to protect themselves from possible ingestion of the deadly opioid.
“Especially when it’s pure fentanyl, when it gets into your system, it’s too late,” he said. “You can’t call 911, you can’t call for help. It immediately kills you.
“No drug is safe right now.”
Sam and Karina (pictured) were among three others who died Sunday after taking fentanyl-laced cocaine. Investigators suspect the group of friends were unaware that the cocaine was mixed with an opioid because it was laid out in rows, which is unusual when users abuse fentanyl.
Karina is survived by two children, including a son named Josiah, who has a different father than Aria.
Sam’s father, Dan, also suspected that his son (pictured) and others did not know the drug contained fentanyl. Dan called the drug “the devil” and said, “Don’t do that shit.”
Sam’s father Dan said that a group of friends thought they were using cocaine, unaware that the drug was mixed with a much stronger drug.
“Fentanyl is useless, man,” he told ABC 7 Denver. – It’s the devil. He must have just taken them, like that. All five.
“It’s happening here. Don’t do any of that shit.”
There were 210 fentanyl overdoses in Denver in 2021, compared to 159 in 2020 and 56 in 2019.
Cora told Scott that she tried to revive one of her friends with an injection, but when Salina – Sam’s half-sister – arrived at the apartment after hours of trying to contact them, she found them dead and the baby silent.
“The baby wasn’t crying at all, so she walked into the room – she must have heard Salina – and the baby started crying,” Dan Marquez told ABC 7 Denver. “So, I’m thinking maybe there was an angel or someone else who took care of her.”
Just a few months ago, Karina joked on Facebook how she missed the “high me”. A friend remarked that Kareena must have “missed her” and she replied, “A lot.” It’s unclear when Kareena started using drugs again, but the November post was published after Aria’s birth in early October.
Despite the tragedy, Dan said his son “loved his job” and was always “talking about his new daughter.”
“He loved his daughter,” Dan told ABC 7 Denver. He said, “This is the new love of my life.”
Just a few months prior, Kareena had shared a photo on Facebook of how much she “loved” getting high.
The post read: “I love the high, nothing bothers me, it’s just fuck it, fuck you or fuck you all.”
The family has two small children, Aria (left) and Josiah (center), who have a different father.
A friend commented on the post with a GIF: “You miss her”, to which Kareena responded in a similar way with a meme: “So much.”
Later that month, she also shared a post saying “CBD is just diet weed.”
It’s unclear when Kareena started using drugs again, but the November posts were posted after Aria’s birth in early October.