The frigid weather in the northeast has taken its toll in many ways. Olivia Benito, 66, was found frozen to death in the snow near her home on the 500 block of Davids Court in Lakewood, New Jersey, the morning of February 15, authorities stated, according to Reuters. Foul play is not suspected, but the death is under investigation.
Benito and a neighbor attended a benefit at an Elks Club in Lakewood, New Jersey, Al Della Fave, spokesman for the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office, said in a news release. Afterward, they stopped by the neighbor’s house for several drinks. The name of the neighbor has not been released.
Della Fave said that the neighbor informed police that Benito had some alcoholic beverages during the course of the evening and left the neighbor’s townhouse at about midnight to walk to her home two doors away. At the time, temperatures were in the single digits, with subzero wind chills. Prosecutors say Benito’s husband assumed his wife was spending the night at the neighbor’s home, according to News 12 New Jersey.
At about 7 a.m., the neighbor went outside to clear the snow off her car and she discovered Benito face down next to her car in the snow, Della Fave said. Medics arrived at the scene, and Benito was pronounced dead at 7:26 a.m., according to NBC Channel 10 Philadelphia. She was pronounced dead at the scene by ambulance personnel, he said.
The temperature was 10 degrees at 7 a.m. on Sunday in the Lakewood area according to the National Weather Service.
Police are investigating the death. The Lakewood Police Department contacted the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office major crimes and Ocean County Sheriff’s Department CSI to assist with the investigation. The investigators determined Benito was last seen alive by her neighbor at midnight.
Police found no outward signs of trauma or foul play but the death remains under investigation, the spokesman for the Prosecutor’s Office stated. They are awaiting the results of an autopsy from the Medical Examiner’s Office to determine an exact cause of death.
According to the Inquisitr, major snow storms are predicted in many areas of the United States, which, of course, make travel dangerous.
“The Weather Channel is predicting the new winter storm to dump up to a foot of snow in a good part of the Midwest, Ohio Valley, upper South, and Mid-Atlantic, with accumulations of 1–5 inches as far south as Atlanta, Georgia, and Raleigh, North Carolina. Accumulations could possibly reach 18 inches in parts of the Ohio Valley and the southern Appalachian Mountains.
“Snow, sleet, and freezing rain will make travel dangerous, and many areas in the path of the storm have already posted winter storm warnings and advisories. Meteorologists are still not certain of the path the storm will take, and are warning that Octavia could bring snow as far north as New York City and southern New England.”