COOK COUNTY - A man found dead last month in Austin on the West Side has been confirmed as Cook County’s sixth cold-related death of the season.
The 31-year-old man was pronounced dead at 1:33 p.m. Nov. 15 in the 1100 block of North Lawler Avenue, according to the Cook County medical examiner’s office. He was seen doing drugs about 12:20 p.m. before he was discovered unresponsive in an alley, Chicago police said.
An autopsy found he died from cocaine toxicity with cold exposure as a contributing factor, the medical examiner’s office said. His death was ruled an accident.
Five other cold-related deaths were reported in Cook County so far this season.
A 64-year-old man died Nov. 29 in north suburban Des Plaines as a result of cold exposure with cardiovascular disease as a contributing factor, the medical examiner’s office said.
A 56-year-old man died Nov. 11 in Garfield Park of cardiovascular disease with cold exposure as a contributing factor, the medical examiner’s office said.
On Oct. 27, a 70-year-old man died in Logan Square, while another man 54, died five days earlier in Oak Forest, the medical examiner’s office said. Cold exposure was a contributing factor in their deaths.
A homeless man who died Nov. 1 in Avondale was the first death to be ruled cold-related by investigators this season, according to the medical examiner’s office.
Last season, the medical examiner’s office recorded 60 deaths in Cook County related to the cold between Sept. 14, 2018 and May 23, 2019.
The fatalities ranged in age between 12 and 93, according to medical examiner’s office data. Three of the cold-related deaths came during January’s polar vortex.