2 people, 2 cats found dead in Berkeley apartment, police say it's suspicious

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Police responded to a call from someone who found a body inside a Berkeley apartment, but when officers arrived about 1 p.m. Monday they found a second body and two dead cats.

"They were in different parts of the residence," said Officer Byron White, a Berkeley Police Department spokesman.

Police say what was unusual is they saw no signs of trauma, no forced entry, no pill bottles, or anything that would indicate a cause of death.

"Because the cause of death wasn't immediately apparent, we called out the fire department, we called out PG&E personnel, we called out a hazmat team," Officer White said.

Public property records show the building is owned by Tony Wong and Cindy Kwong. KTVU Kwong by phone. She told KTVU that they bought the building about one year ago and all four of the units are equipped with smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors. She says one of the units did have a man and woman living there with two cats but police Monday nigth did not tell her whether they were the ones found.

Berkeley police say they evacuated the building and blocked Deakin Street between Webster Street and Prince as a precaution.

Hours later, police said the testing for radiation, carbon monoxide and gas leaks had all come back negative. Homicide detectives searched the property but said they were not looking for any particular suspect.

"It's still a mystery," said Officer White, who said they were still collecting information on the two people who died, "I am told the persons were in their 30's."

"This is my block and just wanted to see what's going on. Obviously very alarmed that this is happening here," said Sara Godley, a neighbor.

Neighbors said they were shocked.

"We walk by it every morning on our way to work, when we walk to BART, and generally it seems like young people and families live in this neighborhood," said Dave McSween who lives down the block.

"We live in a very residential neighborhood. We have good rapport...I'm confident I know who they are once I know their names," said Herve Pluche, who lives near the building.

The coroner's office said Monday night, that they have not finished notifying family members so they were unable to release the names.

Police say investigators hope the autopsy and toxicology results will help solve the mysterious deaths.