Man found frozen near Skokie park
Updated: December 27, 2012 5:56PM
Skokie Police found a man frozen to death near North Shore Channel Park Saturday afternoon on the 3200 block of Oakton Street.
A police sergeant on routine patrol along a path near the park spotted two bicycles and clothing underneath a bridge and requested backup for a “well being check,” police said.
Walking toward the bridge, police personnel saw a left leg hanging from a steel support beam and then saw the man who appeared to be dead. He was located on four pipes mounted parallel with the steel support beam of the bridge – possibly to provide more warmth for sleeping than the ground.
Police have not yet named the man, though he had identification in his possession. Exposure to the cold made it difficult for fingerprint or other identification, police said. They wanted to make sure proper identification and family notification was made before releasing the name.
The Cook County Medical Examiner’s Office identified the man as Luis M. Escalante, 53, of the 1800 block of Farwell Avenue in Chicago’s Rogers Park neighborhood. He was pronounced dead at 4:10 p.m.
It is the fourth cold-related death in Cook County since November, according to the medical examiner’s office.
Casimir Widarz died while lying on the ground Friday in the 4300 block of South Ashland Avenue on the South Side, according to the medical examiner’s office. An autopsy determined the primary cause of death was heart disease with cold exposure listed as a factor.
Thomas Grubb, 41, died Dec. 9 from hypothermia and cold exposure, according to county records. Grubb, a registered sex offender who was living on the street, was found dead near a University of Illinois at Chicago student center.
Florence Hawkins, 83, was the first confirmed cold-related death of the season. She was found dead on Nov. 27 at her home in the 8200 block of South Chappel Avenue, the medical examiner’s office said.~.