Police Investigate Death of 2-Year-Old Found Frozen to Death Outside

January 14, 2019 Updated: January 14, 2019

Police officials in New Hampshire said they’re investigating the death of a 2-year-old girl who was found frozen outside on Jan. 14.

The girl appears to have gotten out of her house in the middle of the night but could not get back in, authorities told WMUR.

A neighbor said the sound of a child crying woke them up around 4 a.m. but they couldn’t see who the cries came from. When the neighbor went outside around 7 a.m., they found the child frozen to death on Maple Street in Newport.

According to the National Weather Service, temperatures dipped to as low as -1 degree Fahrenheit in Newport overnight.

Newport Police Chief Jim Burroughs told Valley News that the death isn’t considered suspicious and “appears to be a bad accident.”

The girl was part of a family of two adults and two children who live in an apartment.

She was found at the bottom of a set of stairs off a screened-in porch in a back apartment at the apartment building.

Pennsylvania Woman Died From Hypothermia

A coroner in Pennsylvania said that a 73-year-old who went missing and was later found dead died from hypothermia.

Isabelle Johnson of Athens left her apartment on Jan. 5, to an unknown destination and went missing.

Medical records indicated that she suffered from Alzheimer’s disease and dementia, Bradford County Coroner Thomas Carman told the Elmira Star-Gazette.

Johnson was found in a large field and pronounced dead on Jan. 7, and Carmen announced the results of the autopsy on Jan. 11.

He said the death was accidental and that Johnson froze to death.

Freezing to Death

Freezing to death is known as hypothermia, or a preventable lowering of the core body temperature to lower than 95 degrees (normal body temperature is around 98.6 degrees), according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Hypothermia causes approximately 600 deaths each year in the United States.

“Exposure to excessive cold (or excessive exposure to cold) slows enzymatic activity throughout the body, leading to potentially fatal rhabdomyolysis, coagulopathy, renal failure, and dysrhythmias. Alcohol intake, activity level, and type of clothing are among the modifiable factors associated with hypothermia,” the agency stated.

“In the United States, certain populations (e.g., alcoholics; drug users; elderly, homeless, and chronically ill persons; and those with preexisting heart disease) are at increased risk for dying from hypothermia.”

The Mayo Clinic notes that hypothermia can be caused by exposure to cold weather but can also happen when someone is immersed in cold water.

“When your body temperature drops, your heart, nervous system and other organs can’t work normally. Left untreated, hypothermia can eventually lead to complete failure of your heart and respiratory system and eventually to death,” it stated.

The main treatment is using different methods to warm to the body back to a normal temperature, including removing wet clothing and sitting near a fire or heater.

Symptoms include shivering, slurred speech, slow breathing, confusion, bright and red skin, and a weak pulse. People with hypothermia generally aren’t aware of their condition because the symptoms begin gradually.

From NTD News

Follow Zachary on Twitter: @zackstieber