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Elderly Hazel Crest man is county's 15th cold-related death

A 94-year-old south suburban man is at least the 15th person to die of cold-related causes this season in Cook County.

Arthur Smith was discovered in his garage in the 17300 block of Emerson in Hazel Crest during a well-being check, according to a spokesman for the Cook County medical examiner’s office.

He was taken to Advocate South Suburban Hospital, where he was pronounced dead at 8:35 p.m. on Jan. 5, according to the medical examiner’s office.

An autopsy found Smith suffered hypothermia because of cold exposure. While the death is considered cold-related, the medical examiner did not determine cause of death. However, the death was ruled an accident.

Smith’s death is the 15th confirmed cold-related fatality this season in Cook County, according to the medical examiner’s office. During the 2013-14 winter season, there were 32 confirmed cold-related deaths.