It appears that harsh weather conditions may have taken the lives of two men after their bodies were discovered in separate incidents.
The Flagstaff Police Department is investigating the cause of the two deaths, but said in a media release that officers believe the deaths were caused by exposure.
At 12:35 p.m. on Thursday, officers responded to a call and found 46-year-old George Toledo unresponsive near 5000 N. Highway 89 in Flagstaff. Toledo was found sitting on a couch located in an alleyway between two brick walls with snow covering portions of his body.
Toledo was pronounced dead on the scene after medical personnel arrived.
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At 1:30 p.m. on Sunday, officers responded to a call from residents of a home along North Third Street and found 68-year-old Paul Zilth Jr. unresponsive. Zilth was front of a residential yard, behind a wall of sandbags and covered in a significant amount of snow.
Zilth had been discovered by residents of the home and was pronounced dead on the scene.
In both investigations, there does not appear to be any suspicious circumstances, according to the media release. The recent storm brought significant snowfall accumulations and extremely cold temperatures to the Flagstaff area.
“Both individuals were in inconspicuous locations, covered with snow,” the release reads. “The extreme weather and severe cold temperatures are believed to be contributing factors to the deaths.”
Given the circumstances, the department asks residents if they see someone who may need help during a snow event or otherwise, they should call (928) 774-1414 and an officer can be directed to the individual’s location.
Residents or those in need may also seek assistance from Flagstaff Shelter Services, (928) 225-2533; Catholic Social Services, (928) 774-9125; Community Services, (928) 679-7425; and Sunshine Rescue Mission, (928) 774-3512.
Adrian Skabelund can be reached at the office at firstname.lastname@example.org, by phone at (928) 556-2261 or on Twitter @AdrianSkabelund.