Freezing temperatures claim lives of elderly Illinois couple

MORGAN COUNTY (AP) — Morgan County authorities said the weekend’s frigid weather was a factor in the deaths of an elderly husband and wife whose bodies were found on their rural property Sunday.

Raymond “Rip” Van Winkle, 92, and Doloras Van Winkle, 82, were found dead about 10:30 a.m., Morgan County Coroner Jeff Lair said Tuesday. They had last been seen about noon Saturday.

Lair said Dolores apparently fell on snow and ice outside of a shed that was on the couple’s property. She suffered broken bones that would have made it impossible for her to move, and died due to hypothermia, he said.

Doloras was wearing a coat, but temperatures were well below freezing.

Sometime after Doloras fell, Raymond apparently found her. It appeared he had some sort of medical event inside the shed and died, Lair said.

The door to the shed was open when the couple was found, Lair said. The outside temperature was 15, and the temperature inside the shed was about 20.

Lair said the husband had significant heart disease, and hypothermia was a contributing factor, while the wife’s cause of death was hypothermia.