Roseville woman’s death on school grounds was accidental, due to exposure

Police say she had dementia, apparently wandered away from home

By: Bria Brown | Roseville - Eastpointe Eastsider | Published January 3, 2018

File photo

ROSEVILLE — Police say a 96-year-old Roseville resident’s death was accidental and from exposure after a Dort Elementary School custodian found the woman deceased on the school’s playground and alerted police at about 7:30 a.m. Jan. 2.

The school is located at 16225 Dort St., which is south of Frazho Road and west of Gratiot Avenue. The resident lived on Curtis Street, which is the next street south of Dort Street. She was found dressed in a nightgown, robe and slippers.

Police stated the woman’s body “showed no signs of foul play,” and the Macomb County Medical Examiner’s Office ruled her death “accidental due to exposure.”   

Police said they spoke with the woman’s family, and she recently had been diagnosed with dementia.

Police believe she “became confused and decided to leave her home” during the night.

Roseville Police Chief James Berlin said the school’s surveillance cameras showed the woman on the property in the early hours of Jan. 2.

“The school’s surveillance camera saw her walking down the street around 4 a.m.,” said Berlin.

Roseville Community Schools put out a statement on its Facebook page addressing the matter at 9:45 a.m. Jan. 3.

“Unfortunately on the morning of January 2, 2018, as the daytime custodian was shoveling snow, he discovered a deceased woman’s body on Dort Elementary’s property. The Roseville Police & Fire Departments were called. At this time, the police believe it is an unfortunate incident and is not anything criminal. The police also believe that she was an elderly neighborhood resident who may have wandered away from home. We will keep you posted if any other news becomes available,” stated the district.

Berlin encouraged families and neighbors to look out for each other with the recent frigid temperatures.

“With this ungodly cold, please check on loved ones or your neighbors. Make sure their heat is working properly and that they have food and water and whatever they may need. It can be overwhelming, so we’re encouraging people to look out for one another,” said Berlin.