Cause of death determined for man found frozen in Michigan City

By: Brandon Lewis; Rich Molina Email
By: Brandon Lewis; Rich Molina Email

Authorities say an Illinois man who was found dead in a tent in LaPorte County did not freeze to death after all. The cause of death was carbon monoxide poisoning.

John Sullivan, the LaPorte County coroner says 48-year-old Elick Cox was found in a makeshift tent near County Line Road and Woodlawn Avenue, on the city's west side.

Cox was living on the property with the owner's permission.

The coroner now says he died from carbon monoxide poisoning caused by a portable stove in his tent he was using to keep warm.

Feb. 7, 2011

The frozen body of a 48-year-old homeless man was found Monday evening inside a makeshift tent.

LaPorte County Coroner John Sullivan said police were called to a wooded area near County Line Rd and Woodlawn Ave. around 5:15 CST after the property owners who allowed the man to live there said they had not seen him in a few days.

Sullivan said there were no signs of foul play and does not believe the man starved because food rations were found in a cooler inside the tent.

Police also found several propane bottles in the tent. Sullivan said it is possible the man had a heater and ran out of fuel causing him to freeze or that he was killed by the fumes.

An autopsy to determine cause of death is scheduled for noon Tuesday, giving the body a chance to thaw.

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