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Man found dead in Fargo likely froze to death

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FARGO – A man whose body was found Thursday afternoon in Fargo is believed to have frozen to death, which would make it the area’s first death in six years from exposure to harsh winter weather.

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Police had a preliminary identification of the man Thursday evening and were working to notify next of kin before releasing his name publicly, Lt. Joel Vettel said.

He said it appeared Thursday that the man was homeless.

Vettel said police received a report about 1:30 p.m. of a body found under a flatbed pickup outside a commercial building on 1st Avenue South, about three blocks from the Gladys Ray Shelter.

Officers found no signs of trauma and do not suspect foul play, he said.

Jan Eliassen, director of the shelter, said Thursday that no one had been turned away from the shelter recently and she did not know of anyone who may have been trying to reach the shelter.

Police believe the man was dead for several hours or more and most likely froze to death, Vettel said, though they can’t be sure until an autopsy is performed.  

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