New autopsy rulings bring Cook County cold death total to 31 this season

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Cook County medical examiner’s office. | Sun-Times files

At least 31 people have died of cold-related causes in Cook County since October, the highest number the county has seen since the 2013-2014 season.

Several deaths being investigated by the medical examiner’s office have since been found to be at least partially caused by cold exposure, bringing the total up to 31 since Oct. 23, 2017, according to data released Monday by the medical examiner’s office.

There were 27 cold deaths between Oct. 22, 2016, and April 4, 2017, according to records maintained by the Chicago Sun-Times. The last time Cook County recorded 31 cold-related deaths was between Oct. 25, 2013, and April 5, 2014.

Most recently, 58-year-old Armin Clemens Stockdreher was found on a rear porch March 11 in the 3800 block of North Oconto, according to Chicago police and the medical examiner’s office. An autopsy found he died of chronic ethanolism, with hypothermia due to cold exposure contributing.

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