Police Identify Couple Found Dead Inside Berkeley Apartment

A Berkeley couple found dead inside their apartment have been identified as Roger and Valerie Morash, police said Tuesday.

The deaths are being investigated by police as a suspicious circumstance and investigators said it is still unclear how the married couple died.

Vaerie Morash, 32, on her website is described as a postdoctoral research fellow at the Smith-Kettlewell Eye Research Institute in San Francisco.

Roger Morash, 35, ran a gaming company.

"They were just quiet," neighbor Jessica Hawley said. "They were just a young happy couple. They were always smiling."

Police on Monday responded to the Morash's residence on the 3000 block of Deakin Street and found the two bodies. The cause of the deaths was not immediately apparent, police said, and the building was evacuated out of an abundance of caution.

Police were alerted to the apartment home when a friend of one of the victims went to check on that person and found them dead. When officers searched the apartment, they found the second body, as well as two dead cats.

Officials ruled out carbon monoxide or radiation poisoning after tests came back negative for those elements.

The Berkeley Fire Department and PG&E crews also responded to the scene to make sure there were no hazardous conditions.

A neighbor said she smelled burning rubber coming from their apartment for months and even complained, but said nothing was ever done.

Autopsies will be performed on the victims, and officials said those may provide clues as to what happened. The results would take at least a day or two, police said.

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