A man whose body was found in an abandoned building on the South Side Thursday is the ninth cold-related death of the season in Cook County.
About 8:30 a.m. Thursday, an officer was patrolling the area when someone flagged him down in the 5700 block of South LaSalle Street, police News Affairs Officer Jose Estrada said.
The person had found the man, who remained unidentified as of Friday, in an abandoned building in that block, Estrada said.
The man, believed to be about 60 years old, was pronounced dead at the University of Chicago Hospitals, according to the Cook County Medical Examiner’s office. An autopsy on Friday found that he died of hypothermia and cold exposure, and his death was ruled an accident, according to the medical examiner’s office.
The previous cold-related deaths in Cook County this season include:
• Terrence Reichert, 51, was found unresponsive Feb. 4 on the porch of his home in 10900 block of S. Komensky Ave. in Oak Forest. An autopsy found he died of closed head injuries from a fall due to alcohol intoxication, with hypothermia due to cold exposure a contributing factor and the death was ruled an accident.
• Lawrence Sviontek, 70, was found unresponsive in the trailer where he lived in the 1300 block of Rand Road in Des Plaines on Jan. 20. Police said there wasn’t any heat inside the trailer. An autopsy found that Sviontek died of hypothermia, caused by cold exposure, with alcoholism as a contributing factor, according to the medical examiner’s office. The death was ruled an accident.
•Edwin Mason, 71, was found dead Jan. 17 in a vehicle parked at a Motel 6 in the 1500 block of Milwaukee Avenue in Glenview. An autopsy found he died of hypothermia, caused by cold exposure, with heart disease as a contributing factor.
• Jerzy Tarkowski, 60, was found lying at the corner of West Belmont and North Central avenues about 1 a.m. Jan. 4. An autopsy found he died of hypothermia brought on by cold exposure, with alcohol intoxication a contributing factor.
• Luis M. Escalante, 53, found in the 3200 block of Oakton Street in Skokie near a park at 3200 Oakton St. on Dec. 22, 2012. Escalante, of the 1800 block of West Farwell Avenue, died of cold exposure.
• Casimir Widarz, in his 60s, was found lying on the ground in the 4300 block of South Ashland Avenue on Dec. 21, 2012. The primary cause of death for Widarz, who was homeless, was heart disease with cold exposure listed as a factor.
• Thomas Grubb, 41, died from hypothermia and cold exposure on Dec. 9, 2012, according to county records. Grubb, a registered sex offender who was living on the street, was found near a UIC student center.
• Florence Hawkins, 83, was found dead at her home in the 8200 block of South Chappel Avenue on Nov. 27, 2012, the medical examiner’s office said.
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