MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – A 6-year-old girl died Thursday morning after being exposed to frigid elements in Bemidji.
Police in Bemidji were called at about 6:23 a.m. to a weather-related medical call on the 900 block of Carter Circle Northeast. Both the victim’s mother and a neighbor reported the incident.
When emergency responders arrived at the Washington Ave. Apartments, the child was inside the front entrance of the apartment building, with signs of being exposed to the elements. The little girl had been found lying outside — fully dressed with gloves, a coat and a hat — but it wasn’t enough to survive the cold. She was pronounced dead at the scene.
The child was taken to the Sanford Medical Center of Bemidji and later to the Ramsey County Medical Examiner’s office in St. Paul.
Temperatures at the time the girl was found were 20 below, with a wind chill of 40 below.
The girl lived with her mother and a 3-year-old sibling at the Washington Ave. Apartments, where doors into the town homes lock automatically. The girl’s mother did not stay there Wednesday night, police say. It is not known why the girl was outside.
Neighbor Rachel Mitchell’s daughter was a classmate of the deceased girl at Horrace-May Elementary School. Mitchell described the girl as sweet in nature.
“I’ve been crying all day,” she said. “I wouldn’t want that to happen to my 6-year-old.”
Bemidji Police said the incident is under investigation, and the child’s cause of death will be revealed after an autopsy. The identity of the victim and those involved will likely be released Friday.
There are no arrests at this time.