Medford man's death leaves many questions

An elderly Medford man who died from hypothermia was found lying in his front yard at 9 a.m. Tuesday, the Jackson County Sheriff's Department reported.

A passer-by saw Harry Henderson, 86, unresponsive in his front yard in the 1900 block of South Stage Road in Medford, the door to his home open behind him.

An investigation revealed Henderson apparently had died from hypothermia.

He had power to his home, but his heat had been turned off, and temperatures inside were colder than they were outside, sheriff's spokeswoman Andrea Carlson said.

"He had space heaters in the home, but they weren't turned on," Carlson said.

Sheriff's investigators said bottles of liquid inside the home were frozen solid, Carlson said.

"The house might have had structural damage that allowed the cold air in," she said.

It is not known why Henderson did not turn on his heat, Carlson said.

It is common for hypothermia victims to shed clothes prior to death, Carlson said.

"We did not find clothing outside the home," Carlson said. "We don't know why he left the home without his clothes."

Investigators do not suspect foul play in Henderson's death.

"The house was very clean inside, but freezing," Carlson said. "It's very sad."

The National Weather Service reported an overnight low temperature of 21 degrees for Monday into early Tuesday morning.

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