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Chicago’s sudden drop in temperatures has been silently, but brutally, taking lives and this week it claimed it’s fourth victim.

Cook County police reported on a man found in his vehicle Tuesday morning in the West Side Austin neighborhood marking it the fourth cold death of the season in Cook County.


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The man, 62, was found unresponsive in his vehicle in the morning at 8:36 a.m. in the 1000 block of North Mayfield, according to Chicago Police and the Cook County medical examiner’s office.

Paramedics took him to West Suburban Medical Center in Oak Park, where he was pronounced dead at 9:05 a.m., according to the medical examiner’s office. His identity has not yet been released.

The autopsy performed on Wednesday found the cause of death to have been hypothermia from cold exposure, and his death was ruled an accident.

Earlier this month, the third cold death of the season happened in the Southwest Side Clearing neighborhood. Tomas Ribskis, 75, was found dead inside a home in the 6900 block of West 64th Street at 10:52 a.m. on Dec. 15, according to the police and the medical examiner’s office.

Patrolling officers encountered a large amount of mail in front of the home. The address was familiar to them, they had a previous call for a well-being check, police said. After gaining entry to the home, officers learned it had no heat or running water.

Ribskis also died of hypothermia from cold exposure, and his death was also ruled an accident, according to the medical examiner’s office.

On Nov. 15 in the West Side Austin neighborhood, the second cold death of the season occurred.

Albert Lukas Jr., 62, was taken from the 1100 block of North Parkside Avenue to West Suburban Medical Center, where he died at 2:50 a.m., according to the Cook County medical examiner’s office.

Lukas, who lived at a different address in the same neighborhood as Tomas, died of complications of hypothermia from cold exposure, according to the medical examiner’s office. Chronic substance abuse, pneumonia, heart disease and diabetes were listed as contributing factors, and his death was ruled an accident.

And, last but not least, the first cold death of the season happened Oct. 23 in the Humboldt Park neighborhood on the West Side. Amos Romon Marsh, 45, was pronounced dead at 8:51 a.m. in the 500 block of North Sawyer Avenue, according to the medical examiner’s office.

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The autopsy found Marsh, a resident of the West Side North Lawndale neighborhood, died of chronic ethanolism, and cold exposure and heart disease were listed as contributing factors, according to the medical examiner’s office. His death was ruled an accident.

Last year, at least 27 cold-related deaths were reported in the winter, according to authorities.

Senior man found dead from freezing cold in West Side Austin Flickr/edward stojakovic
Mariana writes for Rare Chicago.
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