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Tests show hypothermia as cause of homeless man’s death in Fargo

Results from the state medical examiner’s office indicate a homeless man found dead Jan. 9 in Fargo died of hypothermia, said Fargo police Lt. Joel Vettel.

Randy Lee LaFontaine, 48, was found lifeless under a truck about four blocks from the Gladys Ray Shelter.

LaFontaine, who had no permanent address, was a frequent client at Gladys Ray, which is the metro area’s only facility that takes in homeless people who have been consuming alcohol.

Autopsy results showed LaFontaine had alcohol in his system when he died, although Vettel wasn’t sure how much. His death was ruled accidental.

Police had said earlier it was likely he had died from exposure to the cold. He was found in the early afternoon on a day when the high temperature was 24 degrees and the low was 2. The day before, the high was 2 degrees and the low was 21 below.

LaFontaine was the second person to die of exposure in Fargo in seven years.

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