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updated: 11/29/2012 7:52 AM

Chicago woman, 83, dies of cold exposure

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Associated Press

Authorities say an 83-year-old Chicago woman was the first cold-related death of the season in Cook County.

The Cook County Medical Examiner's Office says a relative found Florence Hawkins unresponsive in her bed. She was pronounced dead at her home on the city's South Side on Tuesday.

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The medical examiner's office says an autopsy on Wednesday found Hawkins died of cold exposure and that heart disease was a contributing factor.

The National Weather Service reports that the low temperature on Tuesday was 17 degrees and Monday night's low was 23 degrees.

Authorities say there were at least seven cold-related deaths in Cook County during the cold season of 2011-2012 with the first reported on Dec. 3, 2011.

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