Man dies in cold

February 04, 2004|by DON AINES

A Greene Township, Pa., man was found frozen to death outside his home Sunday, according to Franklin County Coroner Jeffrey R. Conner.

Michael Kenneth Jones, 54, of 5664 Greenvillage Road, died of hypothermia, Conner said Monday. He said he could give no estimate of Jones' time of death.

Pennsylvania State Police also were investigating the death.

Jones was found by family members on a side porch of the house, according to Conner.

Jones lived alone in the house and apparently locked himself outside, according to Conner. He said it appeared Jones climbed a ladder to the second story of the house and fell off.


Conner said Jones did not appear to have suffered major injuries in the fall and was able to move to the covered porch.

Conner said the body was not visible from adjoining properties.

No autopsy was performed, but Conner said toxicology tests were done and the results are expected in about three weeks.

Symptoms of hypothermia include drowsiness, weakness and loss of coordination, pale cold skin and uncontrollable shivering that may stop when the body temperature falls to an extremely low level. According to the Search and Rescue Society of British Columbia Web site, a person may appear confused and apathetic and be unaware that he or she is in any danger.

As the core body temperature continues to drop, the person will gradually lose consciousness.

Deputy Coroner Kenneth L. Peiffer said the last death from hypothermia in Franklin County was about a year ago, when a Shippensburg, Pa.,-area man also inadvertently locked himself out of his home.

Peiffer said he could remember only two or three cases of people freezing to death during his 24 years with the office, including 12 years as coroner.

Peiffer also warned of the dangers of carbon monoxide poisoning, which caused the death of a Greencastle, Pa.-area teenager who fell asleep in an automobile Sunday. He said people should make sure their vehicles' exhaust systems are not blocked by snow and should not sit in cars or trucks with the engine running "unless the windows are wide open."

Park-Geisel Funeral Home of Chambersburg is handling arrangements for Jones. Arrangements are incomplete.

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