Officials: Hopitalized UMD student found 'stiff as a board' on porch


More details have been released surrounding the University of Minnesota Duluth student found over the weekend suffering from severe hypothermia, KSTP reported.

Alyssa Jo Lommel, 19, was found Saturday morning after spending the night on her neighbor's porch. She was noticed by a passerby, who called 911 at about 9:30 a.m.

Ellen Johnson was on her way to go Christmas shopping when she pulled up to a stop sign and saw Lommel lying on the front steps of a house, the Duluth News Tribune reports.

"It was hard to miss her,” Johnson told the newspaper.

Johnson, a lifeguard, said she has experience with emergency situations, but "I have never seen anyone look like that."

According to KSTP, firefighters at the scene said they found the woman "stiff as a board," and that her hands were swollen three times their normal size.

Duluth police said after attending a party the night before, Lommel was dropped off at her home in Duluth around midnight by three men. The woman had her house keys, police said, but mistakenly wandered to her neighbor's house, where nobody was home.

After collapsing, police said Lommel spent more than nine hours in temperatures as low as 15 degrees below zero.

The Duluth News Tribune said police confirmed Lommel had been drinking. In a police report, the driver who dropped Lommel off said she drank "no more than usual" the night of the incident and "she wasn't wasted."

"She could talk," the man said in the police report. "And she wasn’t falling-down drunk."

According to Northland's News Center, police said Lommel was wearing boots, jeans, a sweater and a medium weight jacket.

In their report, police said that it appeared Lommel tried to seek refuge in a nearby garage, the News Tribune reported. Tracks believed to be Lommel's were also found surrounding a locked car in the area.

The paper said police used information posted on Lommel's Twitter and Facebook accounts to track down friends and roommates to discuss the incident.

Lommel's parents released a statement Tuesday, saying, "We are grateful for all the thoughts and prayers for our daughter. We ask for privacy at this time so that we may focus on her healing."

They said several procedures have been performed to restore blood flow to their daughter's hands and feet, and amputation is still a concern, KSTP said. Lommel remains in critical condition at Regions Hospital in St. Paul.

UMD officials also released a statement, urging students to take caution in extremely cold temperatures.

"Travel in groups. Let people know where and when you will be traveling, and check in," the statement said.

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