The Warren County Coroner’s Office said the preliminary cause of death of an 80-year-old woman found outside Bishop Fenwick High School on Wednesday morning was hypothermia.
Chief Coroner’s Investigator Mike DeBorde said the body of Waultraut Lafferty of Franklin Twp. was taken to the Hamilton County Coroner’s Office. There were no significant injuries found, and hypothermia is being considered pending completion of further testing, he said.
Middletown police were called about 7:40 a.m. Wednesday to the high school on Ohio 122 after school staff and teachers arriving for the day found the woman’s body in a grassy area on the southwest side of the building.
Police said the woman was not dressed for the weather. She was found in night clothes and socks and was not wearing shoes when she was discovered. The woman lived about a half-mile from the high school.
Police Chief David Birk said it is believed the woman, who lived alone on Fisher Road in Franklin Twp., may have wandered off about 2 a.m. Family members of the woman found the door to her residence ajar when they checked on her Wednesday and they contacted the Warren County Sheriff’s Office. Birk said the family had checked on her on Tuesday.
Temperatures were dangerously cold Wednesday morning in Middletown, going as low as 2 degrees in the city. Wind chill values were as low as minus 10 degrees overnight, which prompted the National Weather Service to issue a wind chill advisory for some parts of the Miami Valley.