Coroner identifies homeless man who died of hypothermia in South Bend

Published: Dec. 19, 2019 at 2:06 PM EST
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Officials have ruled that a homeless man who was found dead in downtown South Bend Thursday morning died as a result of hypothermia.

St. Joseph County Deputy Coroner Sam Walsh confirmed the ruling in a phone interview Thursday night.

Late Friday morning, Walsh identified the deceased homeless man as 44-year-old Anthony D. Young.

Coroner Mike McGann told 16 News Now earlier Thursday that a member of the parks department actually saw Young Wednesday but didn't approach him.

On Thursday, Young was found unresponsive on a path near Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Drive and the St. Joseph River, in between LaSalle Avenue and Colfax Avenue

Young was found around 9:40 a.m. Thursday. Walsh said he had been dead approximately 48 hours by Thursday morning.

"Any time of year is not a good time to have someone experiencing homelessness. When the weather is as extremely cold as it is, and with these wind chill factors, it is just brutal to be outside," said Steve Camilleri, Center For the Homeless executive director.

Camilleri said it is important for homeless individuals to seek shelter this time of year. He is going out, meeting folks on the street, inviting them to come in.

"There is someone right now who is outside on a bench, outside the Morris Performing Art Center, and I went to meet with her and to invite her and said I would take her to the Center For the Homeless, and she's choosing not to," Camilleri said.

He said some choose not to take advantage of shelters for a number of reasons.

"While I was there, people came up and were bringing her items, and I love the kindness of these people to do it, but what it does is it might make someone think, 'Well, why do I need the services of the Center For the Homeless when I am receiving all these services out here?' If they are not functioning well mentally, they might not be aware about how brutal the elements are outside of the tarp and tent," Camilleri said.

Camilleri said if you know a homeless individual living in the cold, call him.

"And we just have to have hope that they feel compelled to go in and receive those services that are being offered," Camilleri said.