Lakeville police are investigating whether a woman found dead near her home on Tuesday had frozen to death.

The woman’s family members found her outside her house in the 17500 block of Illinois Court and called police just before 4 p.m.

“Police are not sure if the extreme cold played a role in the death but observed evidence of possible hypothermia before death,” a department news release said.

An autopsy will be conducted Wednesday by the Hennepin County medical examiner’s office. Police did not release the woman’s name or age, except to say she was in her 30s.

No information was immediately available on when the woman was last seen alive, but investigators are attempting to trace her activities up to the time of her death.

Police said it wasn’t clear why or how long she might have been outside her home, near Ipava Avenue and 175th Street W.

Temperatures and windchills in Minnesota plunged well below zero this week. Even before this bout of frigid weather, another young adult is believed to have frozen to death in the metro.

On Dec. 15, a University of Minnesota student was found dead along the Mississippi River just east of the Stone Arch Bridge, not far from the Minneapolis campus.

Jacob W. Anderson, 19, was enrolled in the College of Liberal Arts and lived in Pioneer Hall. His body was found about 8:45 a.m. near Main Street and 6th Avenue SE.

The medical examiner’s office said late Tuesday that Anderson’s cause of death is still pending. Police had said that no foul play was involved.

His death came a week after a University of Minnesota Duluth student spent a frigid night on a neighbor’s porch after friends dropped her off after being out drinking.

Alyssa Lommel, 19, of St. Cloud, is recovering at Regions Hospital, where she had parts of her feet amputated on Monday, according to her CaringBridge website. “She ended up basically only losing the tips of her toes on one foot, so she has little nubs yet, which will help greatly for balance and walking,” her mother wrote. But on the other foot, surgeons had to amputate “just below the ball of her foot,” Teri Lommel said.

Joy Powell