ASHEVILLE - A police investigation is continuing after three people were found dead Monday afternoon in an apartment near downtown.
A call came in at 3:19 p.m. reporting three unresponsive people in a unit of Garden Apartments on South French Broad Avenue, police said. The apartment is part of a subsidized housing development of two-story buildings between Aston Park to the north and the high-rise subsidized housing complex Aston Tower to the south.
Medical personnel determined the three people were dead.
Capt. Stony Gonce, who was at the scene, said investigators had not yet determined the cause of death. Police had not ruled out foul play, though Gonce said they believed there was no threat to the public.
"We're treating this as at least suspicious deaths," he said.
Police are withholding information about who found the bodies because releasing that at this point could hamper the investigation, Gonce said. He said the residents were not elderly but declined to give other information, such as the sex. He said at least one of the people appeared to have lived in the apartment.
Officers hoped by the end of Monday night to confirm the identities. Families will be notified before names are released to the public, police said.
Investigators decided not to do on-scene toxicology tests, Gonce said. Any toxicology test would be done later by a medical examiner. That means making a final determination on the cause of death could take longer.
Residents talked with each other about what might have happened. Some said the complex has a problem with drug use and drug dealing.
Resident Kenneth Evans said he was concerned about his friend who lives in the building where the deaths happened.
"I used to be homeless. And so was he. He just got the apartment about 4-5 years ago," Evans said.
This story will be updated as more information becomes available.
Asheville Citizen Times