Cook County reaches 13 cold-related deaths this season

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An 82-year-old woman and a 55-year-old man, both found dead in separate incidents on the Far South Side, are Cook County’s 12th and 13th cold-related deaths of the season.

A caretaker found Shirley Saffold dead at 9:24 a.m. on Jan. 17 in her home in the 7900 block of South Luella, according to Chicago Police. The furnace was not working and the home was 40 degrees inside.

She was pronounced dead at 9:35 a.m., and an autopsy found she died of hypothermia due to cold exposure, according to the Cook County Medical Examiner’s Office.

At 8:02 a.m. Dec. 6, 2017, officers responded to a call of a person down in the front yard of a home in the 11400 block of south Princeton and found Michael Gamble unresponsive, police said. He had no visible injuries or signs of trauma.

Gamble was pronounced dead at the scene at 8:11 a.m., police and the medical examiner’s office said. An autopsy found he died of hypothermia due to cold exposure, with arteriosclerotic cardiovascular disease as a contributing factor.

Both deaths were ruled accidents, according to the medical examiner’s office.

Eleven other cold-related deaths have been recorded in Cook County since Oct. 23, 2017, according to records maintained by the Chicago Sun-Times.

Additionally, a man who suffered a fall and hypothermia in south suburban Beecher in Will County was pronounced dead last week at Loyola University Medical Center in Maywood.

Last year, the first cold-related death of the winter season was reported Oct. 22, 2016. At least 27 cold-related deaths were reported last winter, according to authorities.

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