A Lakeville woman whose body was found last week died of hypothermia, complicated by acute alcohol intoxication, the Hennepin County medical examiner has concluded.
The body of Andrea C. Marker, 32, was found the afternoon of Jan. 7, just steps from the front door of the home she shared with her parents and a sister in the 17500 block of Illinois Court.
The medical examiner’s report did not say what Marker’s blood-alcohol level was, but her family said last week that she had struggled with alcohol use. Interim Lakeville Police Chief John Kornmann said officers had been sent to the house early Jan. 5 on a mental-health welfare check.
Marker was extremely intoxicated then and her family feared that she might harm herself, Kornmann said. She was taken to the University of Minnesota Medical Center Fairview; Kornmann said he did not know how long she was there.
A sister called 911 after finding Marker’s body near the front stoop. Her body was obscured from the street because of snowbanks. Her parents had been out of town, the family said.
Kornmann said Marker had removed most of her clothing when she was found. That is common with victims of hypothermia and is known as paradoxical undressing. The phenomenon makes victim feel the sensation of being warm when, in fact, they are freezing to death.
The interim police chief said last week that the investigation was focusing on where Marker had been in the 24 hours before she was found. A family member last spoke with her about 8 p.m. the night before she was found. She could have been outside for as long as 20 hours, he said.
Temperatures when she was found were in the single digits above zero but had dipped well below zero the night before.
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