BERKELEY—On Monday, January 23, Berkeley residents Roger Morash, 35, his wife, Valerie Morash, 32, and their two cats were found dead inside their apartment on the 3000 block of Deakin Street. The incident was reported by the Berkeley Police Department at around 4:00 p.m.
BPD representative Byron White disclosed that a friend, whose identity has not been released stopped by the apartment around 1:00 p.m. to pay a visit and discovered the bodies. White indicated to the SF Gate that he found the deaths to be “totally strange,” and that detectives are “stumped.”
After discovering the bodies, authorities contacted the Berkeley Fire Department who sent out a hazardous materials team and PG&E crews. Dave Brannigan, Deputy Fire Chief, shared with reporters that “all the obvious dangers, including carbon monoxide poisoning, had been ruled out.” The couple and their cats did not present any immediate signs of trauma.
The building was evacuated to ensure the property was free of hazardous conditions. According to KPIX TV, the cause of the couple’s death is unknown, but police enforced an evacuation as “an abundance of caution.” Autopsies are scheduled to be performed on both victims.
Both Roger and Valerie are graduates of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Valerie worked at the Smith-Kettlewell Eye Research Institute in San Francisco as a postdoctoral research fellow, where her studies focused on assisting the blind. Her husband ran a gaming company, where before his death he reportedly he was working on a game called Shard.
Friends have set up a Go Fund Me page to help the couple’s families raise money for funeral expenses and arrangements.