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February 01, 2019

Iowa student found frozen to death is the eight victim of a life-threatening cold hitting the US

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On Wednesday morning, a University of Iowa student was found on the campus unresponsive. The teenager later died after being taken to a hospital.

The ongoing investigation showed that there was no foul play in the incident. The boy’s death brings the death toll to eight people who’ve died because of the cold weather.

Gerald Belz, 18, was found by the University of Iowa campus police behind Halsey Hall at about 2:48 a.m. His unresponsive body was found behind an academic building.

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Meteorologists said the wind chill at the time in Iowa City had been -51 degrees. The pre-med student was then taken to a hospital where he was pronounced dead.

Authorities revealed that they believed his death was caused by the dangerously low temperatures. However, a specific cause of death is yet to be given. 

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Doctors shared that they didn’t find alcohol in his system and the police suspected no foul play. The student is now one of eight people who have died as a result of the cold weather that has hit the Midwest this week.

On Wednesday afternoon, the teenager’s father, Michael Belz, opened up about the incident. Michael revealed that his son had been sending messages to his girlfriend using Snapchat late on Tuesday night into Wednesday morning.

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The boy’s messages indicated that he had intended to go to bed with no plans to go out. Michael shared that his son was in his first year at the university but was academically considered a second-year student.

The boy’s father described him as a “quiet, tough guy” and “a good kid.” He was a semester ahead due to extra college courses.

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Gerald had graduated from Cedar Rapids' Kennedy High School. His old high school principal, Jason Kline, took to Twitter to pay tribute to him while offering counseling services to any distressed students.

Gerald wanted to become a Gerald was a cardiologist. The student’s friend, Shay Deutmeyer, said: "It was so surreal seeing the news. He is one of the nicest people I've ever met."

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Classes at the university were canceled until Thursday due to the dangerous weather.  The investigation into Gerald’s death is ongoing.

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On Tuesday, officials with the Milwaukee County Medical Examiner’s Office went to a home on the 4200 block of North 64th Street after the body of Charles Lampley, 55, was found frozen in a detached residential garage. The medical examiner’s office believed that Lampley “apparently collapsed after shoveling snow.”

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He was found near a snow shovel and he appeared to have been outside overnight. On the day he was found, Milwaukee had seen low temperatures in the mid negative 20s.

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