Lakeville woman found on doorstep likely froze to death, family says

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Family members say a 32-year-old Lakeville woman was found dead on her doorstep by her sister Tuesday afternoon, and they believe she likely froze to death, the Star Tribune reports. The family identified her as Andrea Marker.

An autopsy is planned Wednesday. Police said her body showed evidence of possible hypothermia before she died, according to local media reports.

Family members found the woman outside her home in the 17500 block of Illinois Court and called police at 3:52 p.m., KSTP reports.

Sheila Marker, Andrea Marker's mother, said the front door the house was locked, but that Andrea had her keys, the Star Tribune reports. She told the Star Tribune her daughter had a problem with alcohol and that she had recently lost her waitressing job.

The Pioneer Press reports police responded to Marker's home two days earlier for a "mental health welfare call." Officers suspected Marker had been drinking and were concerned she was a danger to herself. She was taken to the hospital early Sunday morning. It's unclear how long she was there.

State records show Marker shared the home with her parents and a sibling, the newspaper says.

A police spokesman said Marker for several hours had been unaccounted for, the Pioneer Press reports. Investigators are seeking to piece together a timeline of events that led to her death.

WCCO reports that police are treating the death as suspicious until the Hennepin County Medical Examiner’s Office determines the cause. However, Interim Lakeville Police Chief John Kornmann told the Pioneer Press that investigators don't suspect foul play.

Bitter subzero cold in the metro in recent days was likely a factor in at least one other death. The body of Jacob Anderson, a 19-year-old University of Minnesota student, was found Dec. 15 near campus, along the Mississippi River east of the Stone Arch Bridge. His official cause of death is still pending investigation, the Star Tribune reported. Investigators did not initially suspect foul play.

Nationwide, brutal cold has been blamed as a factor in at least 21 deaths since Sunday, the Associated Press reports.

Forecasters say a warm-up is on the way in the next few days for the nation and much of Minnesota.

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