Roseville — An elderly woman found dead Tuesday morning on a school playground dressed in a nightgown, robe and slippers is believed to have wandered from her nearby home and froze to death, police say.
Roseville Police Chief James Berlin, in a statement released Wednesday, said the death of the 96-year-old woman, whose body was discovered around 7:30 a.m. lying in the playground at Dort Elementary School near 10 Mile and Gratiot, has been ruled accidental by the Macomb County Medical Examiner’s Office. The cause, officials said, is attributed to exposure to the frigid temperatures.
The woman, police said, had been living alone in the neighborhood and, according to family, had recently been diagnosed with early-stage dementia.
“The victim showed no signs of foul play, and it is believed that sometime during the night she became confused and decided to leave her home,” Berlin said in a statement. “Once out of her home and inadequately dressed for the current elements she was soon overcome and succumbed to the cold.”
In southeast Michigan, a wind chill advisory was in place overnight for Wayne, Oakland, Macomb, St. Clair, Livingston, Washtenaw, Lenawee and Monroe counties. Wind chills were subzero during that time.
The woman’s death also comes a day after a man was found dead in front of a Detroit church. Police believe he, too, may have frozen to death.