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Bemidji Girl Died of Hypothermia; PD Investigating How Long She was Outside

Updated: 02/28/2014 10:33 PM
Created: 02/27/2014 10:42 AM WDIO.com
By: Alan Hoglund
ahoglund@wdio.com

Bemidji police say a 6-year-old girl died after being "exposed to the frigid elements" early Thursday morning. According to WDIO's sister station KSTP, the girl died of hypothermia.

Police received two calls, one from a neighbor and one from the child's mother, for a medical emergency.

Officers and emergency medical personnel responded to the 900 block of Carter Circle Southeast at about 6:30 a.m., and were directed to the girl, who was inside the front entrance to the apartment building. She was found unconscious wearing a coat, hat, gloves and boots.

The child had signs of being exposed to the frigid elements and was pronounced dead at the scene, according to police. The girl was taken to Sanford Medical Center of Bemidji and later to the Ramsey County Medical Examiner’s office in St. Paul.

Police are developing a timeline as to when the child was last seen and as to how long the child was exposed to the elements as part of their investigation.

Temperatures in the Bemidji area Thursday morning were -27 degrees with a wind chill of -40.

Superintendent of Bemidji Schools Dr. Jim Hess says it's always a concern when temperatures dip like this.

He says the 6-year-old just transferred to Horace May Elementary. She’s a first grader, who used to go to J.W. Smith Elementary.

Her death impacts classmates at both schools, so that's why counselors and social workers will be on hand Friday.

Since Dec. 1, the Minnesota Department of Health reports there have been 21 deaths due to the extreme cold.

The girl's name and official cause of death have not been released.

A 6-year-old girl was found dead outside this Bemidji apartment complex Thursday morning.
Photo courtesy Bemidji Pioneer

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