Medical examiner investigates death of 83-year-old woman found “partially frozen”

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Milwaukee County Medical Examiner's Office

MILWAUKEE — The death of an 83-year-old Milwaukee woman is being investigated as a probable hypothermia related death, officials with the Milwaukee County Medical Examiner’s Office said Tuesday, March 7th.

Joanne Fischer was pronounced dead on Friday, March 3rd in the backyard of her home near 35th and Thurston. The preliminary manner of death is listed as “undetermined” in the medical examiner’s report.

According to that report, Fischer was found “partially frozen” by the back door to her home. The report says she was dressed appropriately for winter — but she wasn’t wearing shoes. Those were found by her detached garage.

The report says the temperature ranged from 23 to 57 degrees during the three days prior to when Fischer was found, and it was noted that 2.3 inches of snow fell on March 1st. At least one inch of snow was noted on Fischer’s body at the scene.

Fischer and her sister had apparently gone to get their taxes done on February 28th, and then Fischer took her sister home. Fischer’s sister grew concerned after she didn’t see Fischer after that, and she couldn’t reach her by telephone. The report says Fischer’s sister asked Fischer’s grandson to go over to her home to check on her, and that’s when he found her body.

The investigation is ongoing.

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