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Alert Minnesota police officer finds man nearly frozen in deep snow

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news Duluth, 55802
Duluth Minnesota 424 W. First St. 55802

AUSTIN, Minn. -- Had it not been for an Austin police officer with good hearing, a 28-year-old Austin man most likely would have died of the cold Sunday night and his body not found until the thaw.

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Austin Police Chief Brian Krueger said two officers were in a remote part of town at 2:10 a.m. Monday when one thought he heard someone calling for help. The other officer didn't hear it, but the first one went to look and waded through deep snow to find the man.

The man, who was intoxicated, was so cold that his hands were beginning to curl. It took the two officers and a Mower County deputy to lift him. The victim was rushed to Mayo Clinic Health System-Austin, Krueger said.

"I do know he's going to survive, but had he been in the snow much longer, the gentleman would have frozen to death," he said. The temperature was 9 below zero, and the wind chill 27 below, he said.

The man wore only a light jacket and had no hat or gloves.

"He was totally ill-prepared for the elements," Krueger said.

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