'Happy couple' found dead in Berkeley identified

BERKELEY, Calif. (KGO) -- Berkeley police are investigating the mysterious deaths of a couple and their two cats. Their bodies were found yesterday in their apartment on Deakin Street Monday night.

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How Roger and Valerie Morash died remains a mystery.

"Everyone knew Val was a very generous, kind person and very intelligent," said U.C. Berkeley professor Marty Banks.

Morash graduated from MIT, got her masters in statistics and doctorate at U.C. Berkeley. Banks was her graduate advisory. "She was the go-to person in lab on any statistics problem."

Morash and her husband Roger were found by a friend who went in to check on her. Police also found their two cats dead.

Fire and PG&E crews were called. Carbon monoxide and radiation poisoning tests came back negative.

Police say there were no signs of forced entry or violence.

Professor Gunilla Hagerstrom-Portnoy says Morash was a rising star as a research scientist. "Vale was on a roll, she was hiring people," he said. "She was mentoring graduate students here."

Banks tells us they were a happy couple. Roger also had a promising future.

"He was a very good programmer," said Hagerstrom-Portnoy. "MIT educated like Val is. He was working on video games."

Morash was working in San Francisco at the Smith Kettlewell Eye Research Institute, doing pioneer work in vision science.

Portnoy-Hagerstrom says helping the blind was her primary focus.

Police are hoping autopsies on the two bodies will determine cause of death.
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