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Merrimack Valley

June 10, 2014

Two found dead in Newburyport; foul play not suspected

NEWBURYPORT — Foul play is not suspected in the deaths of a local woman and a West Newbury man who were found dead inside her Munroe Street residence yesterday morning.

According to local police, the victims are 35-year-old Jasmine Gillingham and Michael Colby Jr., 31, of West Newbury.

The grisly discovery took place around 9:30 a.m. after police responded to a 911 call from a family member. By the time a Newburyport police officer arrived, neither victim showed any vital signs.

City Marshal Thomas Howard said it appears the two died sometime during the night.

“We’re treating it as a sudden death,” Howard said.

As for the cause of death, Howard said the bodies have been handed over to the state medical examiner for autopsies. Toxicology reports are also pending. Per standard procedure, the state police Crime Prevention and Control agency was contacted, with Inspector Christopher McDonald serving as liaison between the department and state police.

“We’re looking into all possibilities, including drug overdoses,” Howard said.

In 2012, a heroin possession charge against Colby was continued without a finding for a year while on probation, according to court records.

Police, including Howard, were at the scene for several hours, but the residence is not being treated as a crime scene. Munroe Street runs between High Street and Merrimac Street and is only a few blocks away from Cashman Park in one direction and Newburyport High School in the other.

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