Two Washington D.C. homeless men were found dead on Wednesday due to what appears to be hypothermia. Tuesday night’s temperature plummeting to 34 degrees with a severe wind chill exacerbating the condition just may have been too much for victims to withstand.
According to the Washington Post, the bodies of a 63-year-old man and another man found 50 feet away, who has not yet been identified, were found by police in a makeshift homeless center near the Interstate 295 and Pennsylvania Avenue. This winter’s extremely cold, punishing temperatures have already claimed the lives of three people due to hypothermia in the nation’s capital.
The D.C. Medical Examiner has not officially ruled on the circumstances of the case, but so far police have indicated that there are “no signs of foul play.” Lawyers at the Washington Legal Clinic for the Homeless claim that the unusually late cold spurt caught many homeless by surprise. After a warm weekend, many had jettisoned their cold weather clothes and blankets.
“That frigid weather really came out of nowhere, and I’m sure it caught folks off guard,” the legal clinic’s director Patricia Fugere remarked. “I was talking to a fellow yesterday afternoon who sleeps outdoors, and he had no idea the temps were going to go below freezing.”