LONGVIEW, Wash. -- A Longview woman froze to death outside her retirement home late Wednesday or early Thursday morning, police said.

Norma Jeannette Sheldon, 88, was found frozen to death after 1 a.m. Thursday in a courtyard at Canterbury Gardens, at 1457 3rd Avenue, that was only accessible from inside the building.

An autopsy found the cause of death was hypothermia and the coroner's office determined it was an accident, said Sgt. Reeves of the Longview Police Dept.

Staff members found the woman in the courtyard and could not revive her. They said she was in the facility because she suffered from dementia.

The area where Sheldon died is an open courtyard area that is only accessed from within the building, Reeves said.

Staff at the Canterbury Gardens have not said who was supposed to be watching Sheldon at the time that she wandered outside and died. Calls to the facility's main office in Olympia have not yet been returned.

Read or Share this story: