Woman in Iowa assisted living home died after being found in freezing temperatures

Lynne Harriet Stewart, 77, was found outside in sub-zero temperatures in Iowa and taken to a hospital where she died

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BONDURANT, Iowa — Polk County authorities have identified a woman who died after she was found outside an assisted living home for people with dementia in sub-zero temperatures.

Lynne Harriet Stewart, 77, died at a hospital after being found last Friday outside the Courtyard Estates at Hawthorne Crossing in Bondurant, the Polk County Sheriff’s Office said. The temperature outside when she was found by facility staff members was minus 8 degrees, officials said. Staff members brought Stewart back inside and tried to warm her until paramedics arrived and took her to a hospital, where she died.

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A department news release Wednesday said that investigators do not know how long Stewart had been outside when she was found.

In Iowa, assisted living programs for people with dementia are required to have an operating alarm system on each exit door. Courtyard Estates at Hawthorne Crossing was fined $1,500 in 2020 for not having policies or procedures for its alarm system after a male resident was able to leave the home and climb over a secure fence.