Man Found Frozen to Death in Maryland

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    NEWSLETTERS

    News4's Erika Gonzalez is live from Oxon Hill, Md. where a possibly homeless man was found dead outside as temperatures again dipped into the teens. (Published Wednesday, Jan 8, 2014)

    Record-breaking temperatures and wind chills claimed the life of one Maryland man Tuesday.

    An arctic blast brought record-breaking temperatures and wind chills near minus 20 degrees to the area late Monday evening and into Tuesday. Many local officials warned of hypothermia cases, especially among the homeless population. 

    In Morningside, Md., the body of a possibly homeless Maryland man was found behind a business in the 4700 block of Allentown Road around 10 a.m. Tuesday.

    "He was frozen solid," a witness told News4's Erika Gonzalez. "Someone could've done something. If it was a puppy or a kitten, someone would've done something for it."

    A number of employees along the stretch of Allentown Road told News4's Erika Gonzalez they knew the victim and checked on him as best they could. They last saw him sleeping outside a business Monday. 

    "He was a good person, you know. He didn't bother nobody," said Justin Gerard, who works at a local sub shop. Helast saw the man Monday night and served him a hot meal.  Gerard said he tried to keep the man out of the cold as long as possible.

    The victim's body was found the next morning wedged between a brick retaining wall and a chain-link fence. Those who work in the area say the man had been in the area for about a year.

    The exact cause of his death has not yet been determined, but police say it's likely weather-related.

    The storm also caused plenty of material damage in the region, most notably rupturing dozens of pipes.

    A water main break at Ronald Reagan Airport spread water inside and outside the American Airlines baggage claim Tuesday afternoon. Workers told News4 the water was coming down from the ceiling like rain, and airport officials say Tuesday's frigid temperatures are the culprit.

    Leaking pipes at George Washington University Hospital caused two floors to flood, affecting 33 patient rooms Tuesday morning. 

    A nursing home in Rockville was evacuated Tuesday afternoon when water seeped into the Raphael House's electrical circuit, cutting the power and heat to the building. Twenty-eight residents were relocated to a nearby church while repairs were made.

    Arlington County suspended its parking enforcement Tuesday due to meter malfunctions. No word yet if the meters will be enforced Wednesday.

    Many schools in the area have added a 2-hour delay Wednesday, including Fairfax, Stafford and Frederick county schools in Virginia. 

    Due to overcrowding at District shelters, Metrobuses served as warming shelters in several areas around the city Tuesday evening into Wednesday. 

    If you see someone in the D.C. area who needs shelter or warmer clothing, call the following numbers:

    The District - 202-535-7252  and 1-800-535-7252
    Arlington County, Va. - 703-527-4077
    Prince George's County, Md. - 888-731-0999
    Maryland Crisis Hotline - 301-662-2255
    Montgomery County, Md. - 240-777-4000
    Fairfax County - 703-691-2131

    The D.C. Snow Team has some tips to help you through the snow safely:

    • Treat your sidewalks with an abrasive (such as non-clumping kitty litter), a de-icer or rock salt.
    • Help elderly or disabled neighbors with clearing their sidewalks.
    • Clear all snow from your vehicle, including the roof, trunk and hood, and drive cautiously.
    • While driving, stay back from working snow plows.

    The Fairfax County Animal Shelter is also offering temporary housing from the cold for cats, dogs or small companion animals. If you or someone you know needs to utilize this service, call the shelter at 703-324-0208 or e-mail FCPDPetResources@fairfaxcounty.gov.

    The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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