Local News

February 13, 2014

Officials investigate possible hypothermia death

Whitfield County Sheriff’s Office investigators are awaiting results of an autopsy before they release an official cause of death for a Dalton woman who was living in a home without power.

According to an incident report, deputies went to the house on Smith Springs Drive Wednesday morning to find a woman in her 50s cold, unresponsive and barely breathing. She later died. The report states an EMS worker said she was “the coldest person he has ever had, and this could have been caused by hypothermia.”

Lt. Nancy Chadwick said officials won’t know whether hypothermia or some other possible health condition caused the woman’s death until the autopsy report comes back from the state crime lab. She said “there’s nothing indicative of foul play” and the woman is believed to have died of natural causes.

While there are many factors that come into play, a person’s body temperature can drop to an unsafe level at temperatures of just 50 degrees in wet and windy weather, according to WebMD.com, a leading website for medical information. In Whitfield County, the temperature stayed in the 30s near freezing for much of Wednesday.

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