18-year-old University of Iowa student found dead on campus, believed weather-related

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IOWA CITY, Ia. — The body of a University of Iowa student was found on the campus in Iowa City, and officials said they believe his death was weather-related.

Television station KCRG reported the body of 18-year-old Gerald Belz was found behind an academic hall just before 3 a.m. Wednesday, Jan. 30 by campus police. He was taken to a hospital, where he died. While officials believe his death was related to dangerously low temperatures at the time he was found, officials have not given a specific cause of death.

Belz’s family told KCRG that doctors did not find alcohol in his system.

The National Weather Service said the wind chill around 3 a.m. was -51°.

The death is the eighth fatality linked to the extremely cold weather in the Midwest.

An 82-year-old man died at a Peoria, Illinois hospital after he was found by a neighbor several hours after he fell trying to get into his house. The man’s cause of death was related to cold exposure. He wasn’t immediately identified pending notification of family. The high temperature in Peoria on Tuesday was 10°, according to the National Weather Service.

Two people in the Detroit area died in the extreme cold, including a former member of the City Council in the town of Ecorse, Michigan. A detective said the man was discovered Wednesday — not wearing a hat or gloves. Police believe he was disoriented. He was found across the street, near a neighbor’s house.

In Detroit, a 70-year-old man died in front of a neighbor’s house.

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