MISSION, S.D. (KELO) — Update: A family member of the deceased 12-year-old, Honor Beauvais, says the child had chronic asthma and was suffering from Influenza A at the time of his death. Further details can be found in this story by Jazzmine Jackson.
Todd County Coroner Monica Rahn said since Thursday, Dec. 15, her office has received nine calls reporting deaths.
While Rahn noted that this was an unusually high amount of calls for such a period, she said of the nine, just one was being considered a weather-related death. That situation, according to Rahn, was a 65-year-old man who died from cold in his home, which was without heat.
Todd County, which comprises the bulk of the Rosebud Indian Reservation, has been hit hard by winter weather that left 2-3 feet of snow and drifts of up to 20 feet. Tribal authorities have struggled to clear roads due to the amount of snow and a lack of suitable equipment.
With another winter system settling in, temperatures in the area are below zero, with wind chills diving into the minus 40s.
One other death, which was not being listed as a weather due to weather, but in which the weather may have been a factor, was a 12-year-old boy. Rahn explained the boy had been ill for some time and he had died of natural causes.
An ambulance was delayed by a blocked road in reaching the boy’s residence, but Rahn said it was unclear whether the delay ultimately made a difference in the outcome.
The names of those who have died in these instances have not been released.