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Criminal case in fentanyl deaths of 5 in Commerce City stalls

Prosecutors said they do not have enough evidence to file any charges in the case at this time.

COMMERCE CITY, Colo. — Prosecutors looking into the fentanyl overdose deaths of five people inside a Commerce City apartment do not have enough evidence to file any charges in the case as of now. 

The sister of one of the five people who died said the decision ensures that “the person responsible for this is walking free.”

Feliz Sanchez-Garcia, the sister of Karina Rodriguez, provided a family statement to 9NEWS that says investigators will move to classify the case as “inactive.”

“What happened to them was murder,” the statement reads.    

Karina Rodriquez, 28; Sabas Marquez, 24; Humberto Arroyo-Ledezma, 32; Stephine Monroe, 29; and Jennifer Cunningham, 32, died in February after using cocaine that, after their deaths, tested positive for the presence of fentanyl. 

Sanchez-Garcia has become an advocate with the Voices for Awareness group, which has been vocal about the dangers of fentanyl. She has also testified at Colorado’s Capitol since her sister’s passing. 

Sanchez-Garcia also told 9NEWS her family has met with investigators and prosecutors over the last few weeks to review images and evidence from the scene and to get an idea on the status of the case. 

>Video below: The 17th Judicial District Attorney’s Office holds a briefing after announcing no charges will be filed in the case.

RELATED: 5 found dead inside Commerce City apartment identified

Wednesday morning, a spokesperson for the 17th Judicial District Attorney’s Office issued a statement saying, in part: 

“Unfortunately, after six months of this intense undertaking, the evidence that exists today has not and will not lead us to an arrest or the filing of a charged case. We will continue to investigate any new leads that may come in. 

My heart goes out to the families and friends of those who died in this tragic incident in February. I want to thank all of the law enforcement agencies who spent hours investigating these deaths.”

You can read the family’s entire statement here: 

“As we understand, the police are going to make this case inactive, meaning they will not be putting as many resources into the investigation about who killed these 5 people who are so deeply loved and missed. Although 6 months has felt like an eternity without them, it absolutely does not feel like enough time to decide the case is no longer worth investigating. Their deaths made international news and brought the conversation about fentanyl poisoning to the forefront for so many people, and now their deaths will be forgotten and the people/person responsible for providing them with this poison is able to still walk the streets with the ability to devastate other lives. What happened to them was murder, and the person responsible for this is walking free.” .

If you have any information about this story or would like to send a news tip, you can contact jeremy@9news.com

RELATED: Vigil held to remember people who died of suspected fentanyl overdose in Commerce City

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RELATED: Family of Commerce City victim gave tearful testimony during fentanyl bill debate


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