Mt. Vernon Register-News

July 19, 2012

Heat blamed in East St. Louis man's death

Associated Press


EAST ST. LOUIS, Ill. (AP) — Authorities in East St. Louis say Illinois' recent heat wave is to blame in the death of a 62-year-old homeless man whose body was found in a vacant building.

East St. Louis Police Chief Michael Floore says a man looking for aluminum cans inside the building discovered Otha Bowman's badly decomposed body Tuesday. Floore says Boman's family members identified him through some of his personal effects.

St. Clair County Coroner Rick Stone attributed Bowman's death to the heat.

Bowman's is at least the third death blamed on the heat in southwestern Illinois. An 88-year-old Troy woman was found dead July 8 after she accidentally switched her thermostat to "heat," and a 56-year-old Collinsville man died July 6 after choosing not to run his air conditioner.