Lakeville police have identified the woman found dead outside of her home Tuesday afternoon as 32-year-old Andrea Marker.
Police said Marker, who was found just a few feet from her door, may have been outside for anywhere between 12 to 24 hours.
"Literally just feet from the front door," Interim Chief John Kornmann told Fox 9 News.
Investigators found the front door locked, but they don't know if Marker could not get inside or why she chose to stay on the front walk, which was obscured by snow.
Kornmann said Marker was last seen alive on Monday, the day after police took her into mental health custody. When asked about that call, Kornmann explained that officers were dispatched early on Sunday after a domestic disturbance was reported.
"It was determined that due to the amount of alcohol she'd consumed and just a concern that she may do self harm that she needed to be evaluated, so she was transported to Fairview Riverside," Kornmann explained.
Lakeville police returned to Marker's home on the 17500 block of Illinois Court at 3:52 p.m. Tuesday after her sister found her outside.
Officers observed evidence of possible hypothermia, including what is known as "paradoxical undressing," which is considered to be the last stage of hypothermia and involves victims shedding their clothes because the blood the body held in the core rushes to the extremities and causes a hot flash. Investigators confirmed that Marker was found partially nude with clothes around her body.
An autopsy was scheduled for Wednesday to determine whether exposure to the extreme cold or alcohol were factors in her death.
Investigators are still tracing the victim's activities up to the time of her death. Police are treating the death as suspicious until an official cause of death can be determined.
"Our main concern is yes, this is extremely tragic and we do want to see if we can determine what caused her to be out in the extreme cold, so we are very interested in that 24 hours leading up to her discovery," Kornmann said.
ANOTHER COLD WEATHER DEATH?
Barron County sheriff's officials confirmed a 76-year-old woman died after leaving her assisted living facility. Juanita Toews exited out of her living room window and police followed her tracks to a nearby creek where she was laying on the ice. She was not wearing any cold weather clothing and pronounced dead at the Mayo Clinic shortly after she was discovered. Her official cause of death is under investigation.
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