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Iowa woman dies after being found outside of assisted living facility in freezing temperatures

Polk County authorities call the death of a woman at an assisted living facility in Bondurant "suspicious."
Around 6:30 a.m. on Friday, Jan. 21st Polk County deputies responded to a call for medical assistance.

A woman staying at the Courtyard Estates at Hawthorne Crossing, an assisted living facility for people with dementia in Bondurant was found outside.

The low temperature that morning was -9 degrees.
"Everything there on scene will be taken into consideration, including the bitter cold temperatures," Lt. Ryan Evans said.

Evans said when deputies arrived, the woman was conscious and being treated inside the facility, but she later died at the hospital.

The official cause of death has not been released.

The Iowa Department of Inspections and Appeals tells KCCI that assisted living programs for people with dementia are required to have an operating alarm system on each exit door.

According to reports from the Iowa DIA, Courtyard Estates at Hawthorne Crossing was fined $1,500 in summer 2020 for not having a policy or procedure for their alarm system.
The report filed back then shows somebody on staff noticed a resident was missing.
The man was returned by police and he showed the nurse how he exited the door and climbed over a secure fence.

The facility was later found to be compliant in a 2021 report.

Monday afternoon, the DIA was at the facility in Bondurant conducting an investigation.
Evans says the Polk County Sherriff's Office is working quickly to find answers.

"To have this exact situation is not common at all," Evans said. "Our investigators are really getting involved in it. This isn't going to be a prolonged event I would say. They really want to find out why this happened. If there's any criminal aspect to it at all, the charges could go I suppose to neglect of a dependent person if they were in fact dependent."

Evans said the Courtyard Estates at Hawthorne Crossing is cooperating with their investigation.

They failed to respond to KCCI's request for a statement.
The name of the woman who died has not been released.

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