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Medford police identify man who died in cold overnight

Medford police have identified a homeless man found dead in the cold this morning as 58-year-old Kevin Anthony Ferris.

Officers were familiar with Ferris and his life on the streets, Medford police Detective Sgt. Mike Budreau said.

He has family in the area and a detective notified them of the death this morning.

Another homeless man walking along railroad tracks about 100 yards north of Jackson Street looking for blankets in the bitter cold early this morning found Ferris and notified police at 3:20 a.m., Budreau said.

The temperature was 16 degrees when Ferris was found, and investigators suspect that exposure played a role in his death.

“He was relatively lightly dressed for the cold and had a light blanket,” Budreau said. “It's possible he succumbed to freezing temperatures.”

A preliminary investigation with the help of Deputy Medical Examiner Randy Arnold of the Jackson County Sheriff's Office found no evidence of foul play. Dr. James Olson, a deputy state medical examiner, will conduct an examination and determine if an autopsy is warranted, officials said.

Budreau noted that local missions had space available for those looking for shelter during this cold snap. Temperatures are expected to be even colder tonight, the forecast said.

— Anita Burke