Did a homeless woman freeze to death in Minneapolis?
Several news outlets reported this morning that a homeless woman had died from the cold on her way to a the Salvation Army Harbor Light shelter in Minneapolis.
Ryan McFarland, Flickr. Sources say the death was just a rumor.
It was a believable story -- temperatures did plummet to 14 degrees below zero and lower last night downtown, after all.
But the mystery death may be nothing more than just a rumor.
Minneapolis police have no report of the death, says department spokesman Sgt. William Palmer.
"We checked the last four days and we have no DOAs outside," he says. "There's nothing in our system."
A woman who answered the phone at the Hennepin County Medical Examiner's Office confirmed that "nobody died," though she wouldn't give her name or any further information.
So if no one died, how did the rumor transpire?
The Star Tribune is reporting that a security guard at the Harbor Light Shelter "heard someone died, but it was not verified." Local TV stations picked up the rumor, and it spread.
Stephen Horsfield, chief operating officer at Harbor Light, was not available immediately for comment.
We'll update when we get more information.