Man’s death likely caused by exposure to frigid temps

An elderly man with a history of dementia is believed to have died from prolonged exposure to recent freezing temperatures, Baton Rouge officials said.

Clarence Taylor, 79, of Baton Rouge, was found unresponsive underneath a truck parked outside a business in the 3500 block of Choctaw Drive just before noon Tuesday, according to Baton Rouge police and the East Baton Rouge Parish Coroner’s Office.

A first response team attempted to resuscitate Taylor, but he was pronounced dead soon after arriving at a hospital, said Dr. Beau Clark, the parish coroner.

A preliminary autopsy points to hypothermia as Taylor’s likely cause of death, although additional testing needs to be done before Clark can definitively rule on the manner of death, he said.

No foul play is suspected in Taylor’s death, said Cpl. L’Jean McKneely, a Baton Rouge police spokesman.

“He did have a history of dementia,” McKneely said of Taylor.

The location where Taylor was found is several blocks south of his residence in the 3900 block of Brady Street.

Temperatures in Baton Rouge never eclipsed the freezing mark during a 20-hour period beginning about 2 p.m. Monday, dipping as low as 19 degrees on Tuesday morning, according to readings from the National Weather Service.