Indiana officials blame 5 deaths on heat
The Associated Press July 8, 2012 10:28PM
Updated: July 8, 2012 11:15PM
INDIANAPOLIS — Officials in three Indiana counties are blaming a total of five deaths on near-record heat that has lingered across the state for days.
Elkhart County Coroner John White told WSBT-TV on Sunday that an elderly woman was found dead Friday night in her home in the northern Indiana city and a 45-year-old man was discovered dead Saturday in his apartment.
White said the cause of death in both cases was hyperthermia. Neither victim had air conditioning in their home, he said. White said the man was morbidly obese, which affected his body’s ability to cool down.
“If a body temperature exceeds 101 degrees, and there’s been long-term exposure to heat, that’s what gets us into the medical definition of hyperthermia,” said White. “They can’t cool. It generally affects the very young or very elderly.”
In Indianapolis, Marion County health officials blamed Saturday’s 105-degree temperature for the deaths of a 92-year-old man and a 54-year-old man.
The agency said the older man was found dead inside his unventilated home with only a fan. The other man was found dead outside near his residence. Saturday’s 105-degree temperature was 1 degree shy of Indianapolis’ all-time high, set July 14, 1936.
The agency attributed both men’s deaths to heat but didn’t specify the exact causes.
Authorities in Hancock County said a 4-month-old girl died Saturday in Greenfield after her teenage father left her unattended in a hot car.
The father, 18-year-old Joshua Stryzanski, was being held Sunday without bail on a preliminary charge of neglect of a dependent resulting in death.
Police found the girl in a car about 3:35 p.m. Saturday in Greenfield, roughly 25 miles east of Indianapolis.
Greenfield Police Chief John Jester said it appears she had been left in the car for “an extended period of time.” The baby was pronounced dead at Hancock Regional Hospital, he said.