MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – Authorities found a man dead outside Monday morning in central Minnesota as another blast of arctic air washed over the state.
The McLeod County Sheriff’s Office says the man was reported missing at around 8:20 a.m. His car had reportedly gotten stuck near County Road 7 and 70th Street South, near the city of Stewart.
Sheriff Scott Rehmann says the man, who was in his 50s, probably tried to walk home, which was just a few miles away. But he went to the ground at one point, and stayed there.
“When it’s 20 below and you throw in the wind chill factor, and it’s minus 40s with the wind chill factor, you can succumb to that temperature pretty fast,” Rehmann said.
Deputies from the sheriff’s office and the Stewart Fire Department began a search for the man shortly before 11 a.m. They found him two-and-a-half miles from his car.
No one had heard from the man – who has not been named — since late Sunday night, when a travel advisory was in effect for many parts of the state. High winds created blizzard-like conditions as the weekend’s fresh snow blew about, reducing visibility.
“It’s open fields for miles,” Rehmann said. “And the wind kicks up, blows a lot of snow, and a lot of drifts were on the roads at that time.”
The sheriff advised drivers to stay in their cars if stranded during extreme cold.
“If you go in a ditch, stay with your vehicle,” he said. “Don’t try to go out for help. If you have a cell phone, use your cell phone, call for help. Otherwise stay with your vehicle.”
The Midwest Medical Examiner’s Office is currently investigating the man’s death.
Stewart is about 70 miles west of Minneapolis.