Elderly Couple Found Dead in Deep Snow After Blizzard Hit Rural Town in Arizona
Although a cause of death has yet to be determined, police have said it's likely the pair “died from exposure to the environment"
A couple in their 70s was found dead earlier this week following a massive winter storm in Arizona.
On Friday, the Yavapai County Sheriff’s Office released a statement confirming that they found the bodies of a man and woman in their 70s off of a snowy road in Ash Fork.
“A PRELIMINARY finding shows no evidence of foul play,” police added, noting that there was a “strong likelihood” that the pair “died from exposure to the environment.”
“Further updates are pending the medical examiner’s report,” police added, noting that a time of death has yet to be established.
The pair has been identified as married couple Richard Alexander, 74, and Elizabeth Alexander, 79, according to the Associated Press.
“It is possible snow kept their bodies from view for a period of time,” police told the AP, noting that the previous week a massive winter storm had hit the area.
Ash Fork residents Mike and Diane Haas told ABC Phoenix affiliate KNXV that they first noticed the bodies while leaving their house on Friday, and called the police after approaching and realizing the pair had died.
Detectives told Mike and Diane that the elderly couple’s car had gotten stuck the previous week when the area was hit with 10 inches of snow, the outlet reported.
“Eventually they decided to leave their vehicle,” Mike told the outlet, adding that he believes the couple were “headed to our house,” which they came within 100 feet of reaching.
Although National Weather Service meteorologist Darren McCollum told the AP that they don’t have a weather reporting station near the rural town, the area was likely hit by 12 inches of snow between Nov. 29 and 30.
“If they hadn’t left their car, I really believe somebody would’ve checked on them,” Diane told KNXV. “People drove by them but everybody assumed this was somebody who got their car stuck, they called and got rescued. Nobody would’ve ever thought that they were out here struggling.”