As freezing temperatures blanketed East Texas on Monday, Harrison County officials reported the death of a man who reportedly wandered off into the woods near a mobile home park.
Harrison County Fire Marshal Duana “DJ” Couch, who also serves as the county’s emergency management coordinator, said a 66-year-old white male was found dead in the woods Monday near Norma Lee Lane mobile home park in Harrison County.
Couch said law enforcement officials were called Monday to perform a welfare check by the man’s sister who reported her brother had a mental disorder and exhibited signs of dementia.
“We had a welfare check there at 11:51 a.m. in reference to a 66-year-old white male subject,” Couch said. “He had a couple of strokes about two months ago.”
Upon arrival, first responders found the mobile home residence vacant and learned the man had walked off the premises sometime earlier.
“The owner of the trailer park advised he was last seen about 9:30 a.m.,” Couch said. “He was last seen wearing a long-sleeved shirt and pajama pants with his dog. He had a miniature Yorkie type of dog.”
Other park tenants reported the man had wrecked his vehicle on the premises Monday morning before walking away.
“He was delirious walking,” Couch said the witnesses reported. “He went on out in the woods, and they found him frozen. The mobile home owner followed tracks in the snow and found him.”
Couch said the man’s death was due to the freezing temperatures.
“It is weather-related but there were mental and health issues that did bring this on,” she said.
Harrison County Sheriff’s Office Spokesman Lt. Jay Webb said the department was not releasing information about the man’s death pending an autopsy report.
“It is an unattended death, meaning the man was not under the care of a doctor at the time of death,” Webb said. “We do not release information about unattended deaths until we receive an autopsy report which we are waiting on.”
Officials declined to release the name of the deceased man on Monday.