Weather Updates

Man found on Northwest Side is season’s 5th cold-related death

Updated: January 4, 2013 10:08PM

An apparently homeless man who died early Friday after being found outside on the Northwest Side is the fifth cold-related death of the season in Cook County.

Jerzy Tarkowski, 60, was found in the 5500 block of West Belmont Avenue early Friday, according to the Cook County medical examiner’s office. He was taken to Our Lady of the Resurrection Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead at 1:15 a.m.

An autopsy found he died of hypothermia brought on by cold exposure, with alcohol intoxication a contributing factor, the medical examiner’s office said.

The previous cold-related deaths in Cook County this season include:

• Luis M. Escalante, 53, found in the 3200 block of Oakton Street in Skokie near a park at 3200 Oakton St. on Dec. 22. Escalante, of the 1800 block of West Farwell Avenue, died of cold exposure.

• Casimir Widarz, in his 60s, died while lying on the ground in the 4300 block of South Ashland Avenue on Dec. 21, according to the medical examiner’s office. The primary cause of death for Widarz, who was homeless, was heart disease with cold exposure listed as a factor.

• Thomas Grubb, 41, died from hypothermia and cold exposure on Dec. 9, according to county records. Grubb, a registered sex offender who was living on the street, was found near a UIC student center, the medical examiner’s office said.

• Florence Hawkins, 83, was the first confirmed cold-related death of the season. She was found dead at her home in the 8200 block of South Chappel Avenue on Nov. 27, the medical examiner’s office said.

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