Police order optional evacuations to test where Berkeley couple mysteriously died

Friday, February 3, 2017
Evacuations ordered where Berkeley couple, 2 cats found dead
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Police are "highly recommending" that tenants of an apartment fourplex evacuate while they conduct tests to see if they can determine what killed a Berkeley couple and their two cats.

BERKELEY, Calif. (KGO) -- The mysterious case of Valerie and Roger Morash in Berkeley still does not have a clear conclusion.

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The Berkeley couple was found dead inside their apartment along with their two cats last month. A detective in charge of the case is ordering an evacuation from 6 p.m. Friday to 6 p.m. Saturday, some residents are struggling with the fact that it's not a mandatory evacuation, but a highly recommended one.

Residents in a Berkeley fourplex are anxious Thursday night, wondering what to do after receiving an email from building management saying police plan to run the heater in unit 4, where the bodies of Roger and Valerie Morash and their two cats were found.

A detective also wants all tenants to turn their heaters on, nonstop and "highly recommends that you stay out of your apartment for this 24 hour period."

"I'm just nervous," said neighbor Jessica Hawley. "I'm stressed. I just wish the detective would return our calls and communicate more with us as to what's going on."

No one returned our calls either. Very little information has been released since the Morashes died. That day, everyone in the building was tested for spiked carbon monoxide levels.

Since then, speculation has run rampant.

"It's probably carbon monoxide then the question is, what's the source of the carbon monoxide," asked neighbor Marie Nadeau. "Well furnaces are the number one cause of carbon monoxide poisoning."

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Since this is not considered a mandatory evacuation neither the building or the owner or the police department will pay for the tenant's 24-hour-relocation.