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Northwest Suburban Man Is County's 7th Cold-Related Death

CHICAGO (STMW) -- A northwest suburban man who died Sunday is the seventh cold-related death of the season in Cook County.

Lawrence Sviontek, 70, was pronounced dead at 4:40 p.m. at his home in the 1300 block of Rand Road in Des Plaines, according to the Cook County Medical Examiner's office.

An autopsy Monday found that Sviontek died of hypothermia, caused by cold exposure, with alcoholism as a contributing factor, according to the medical examiner's office. The death was ruled an accident.

Des Plaines police were not available for comment Monday.

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

•Edwin Mason, 71, was found dead Jan. 17 in a vehicle parked at a Motel 6 in the 1500 block of Milwaukee Avenue in Glenview. An autopsy found he died of hypothermia, caused by cold exposure, with heart disease as a contributing factor.

• Jerzy Tarkowski, 60, found lying at the corner of Belmont and Central avenues about 1 a.m. on Jan. 4. An autopsy found he died of hypothermia brought on by cold exposure, with alcohol intoxication a contributing factor.

• 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, was found lying on the ground in the 4300 block of South Ashland Avenue on Dec. 21. 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.

• Florence Hawkins, 83, was found dead at her home in the 8200 block of South Chappel Avenue on Nov. 27, the medical examiner's office said.

(Source: Sun-Times Media Wire © Chicago Sun-Times 2013. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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