Woman, 97, found dead in home died of hypothermia

The Associated Press
LOGO medic

PORTAGE, Pa. – A coroner says a woman found dead inside her western Pennsylvania home earlier in the week died of hypothermia.

Cambria County Coroner Jeffrey Lees says 97-year-old Mary Sopata was found by a neighbor Tuesday in her Portage Township home.

The (Johnstown) Tribune-Democrat reports that the home apparently ran out of heating oil earlier in the week. Lees says emergency responders reported a thermostat inside the residence indicated it was 38 degrees. He says relatives of the victim were out of town at the time.

Lees ruled the death accidental, calling it “a heart-wrenching tragedy.” He said hypothermia can set in quickly, particularly in older people who may have circulation issues, and confusion can set in once the body’s temperature drops to an unhealthy level.

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