Columbus man dies of exposure to cold weather

By The Associated Press

COLUMBUS — Lowndes County Coroner Greg Merchant says a 72-year-old Columbus man has died from exposure to cold weather.

The Commercial Dispatch reported Monday that Hozzie Hawthorne was found dead in his apartment Friday after a neighbor called 911.

Responders found Hawthorne in bed with minimal covering. The apartment lacked electricity and running water.

Merchant estimated the apartment wasn’t much warmer than the temperature outside, which was 39 degrees when the body was discovered. The low the previous night was 17 degrees.

Hawthorne was taken to Baptist Memorial Hospital-Golden Triangle, where he was pronounced dead. Merchant says the cause of death was hypothermia due to exposure.