ROSEVILLE (WWJ) – The death of an elderly woman found outside a school in Macomb County is being blamed on the bone-chilling cold.
Roseville police officers responding to the playground at Dort Elementary School, south of I-696 near Gratiot Ave., early Tuesday found the deceased victim dressed only in a nightgown, robe and slippers — after a night when temperatures dipped to -2 degrees.
Police said the woman was identified as a 96-year-old resident who lived alone in a nearby home.
According to investigators, there were no signs of foul play and it is believed that sometime during the previous night she became confused and decided to leave her home. Family members said the woman had just recently been diagnosed with dementia.
Police said that once outside of her home, being inadequately dressed for the elements, the woman was soon overcome and succumbed to the cold. The death has been ruled accidental by the Macomb County Medical Examiner’s Office, due to exposure.
Roseville Police Chief James Berlin called the woman’s death a tragedy.
“According to family neighbors and all that, (she was) very, very active,” Berlin added. “Everyone knew her in the neighborhood, everyone loved her, she knew everyone by name.”
The woman’s name was not immediately released.
This is the second local death blamed on the deep freeze since the year began. Monday morning, a man was found dead in front of Shady Grove Church on Detroit’s east side, and police believe he likely froze to death.