Naytahwaush woman's death blamed on cold
A father who found his 21-year-old daughter's body Friday said he believes she froze to death after leaving a New Year's Eve party and going the wrong way.
Investigators with the Mahnomen County (Minn.) sheriff's office are trying to determine what happened to Lorraine Elizabeth Londo.
The family of the Naytahwaush, Minn., woman called authorities Thursday night to report she had been missing since 3 a.m. that day, said Investigator Brady Burnside.
Law enforcement, family members and friends searched the area.
About 5:30 p.m. Friday, Corvin Londo notified law enforcement that he found his daughter's body in a clearing of a wooded area about one-fourth mile from her home, Burnside said.
He said his daughter began working at the Naytahwaush post office two weeks ago and had dreams of becoming the postmaster.
"She was pretty proud of her job," he said.
A cause of death is under investigation, and an autopsy will be conducted.
Burnside said it is too early in the investigation to rule out foul play.
Because Londo was at a party, "alcohol will be a focus of this investigation," Burnside said.
Corvin Londo said he believes his daughter walked in the wrong direction after leaving her friend's party.
"She never goes out drinking," he said. "It's just one of them things."
The party was in the same block as Lorraine Londo's home, Burnside said.
Investigators are trying to determine what time she left the party and whether she was alone, Burnside said.
She was dressed appropriately for the weather when she left the party, he said.
The temperature New Year's Eve in that area was 6 above and by morning it was 16 above, according to the National Weather Service. Wind chills were 10 below zero during the evening and 3 above zero by morning.
The village of Naytahwaush is about 22 miles east of Mahnomen and has a population of about 600.
The Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension is assisting with the investigation.
Londo is survived by a daughter, Erica, who will turn 2 in February, and many other relatives.
"She really cared a lot about her nieces and nephews," her father said.
The Londo family experienced another tragedy about 10 years ago when her brother, Adam Burnette, died after diving off a dock and breaking his neck, Corvin Londo said.