Quebec separatist leader's mother dies, 93, in freezing cold after evacuating senior apartment building

The Quebec government is investigating after a 93-year-old politician’s mother evacuated her home in a snowstorm and then froze to death in the bitter cold, according to reports.

Helene Rowley Hotte, the mother of Quebec separatist leader Gilles Duceppe, was found dead in the snow Sunday in Quebec where she lived alone in a seniors-only luxury apartment building.

“It’s shocking for me to see that somebody at the age of 93 years old dies when it’s cold like it was (Sunday),” Marguerite Blais, Quebec’s minister responsible for seniors, said, according to the Montreal Gazette Monday. “I’m very, very, very sad.”

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Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau offered his condolences to Duceppe, who declined to comment on his mother’s death, according to reports.

At the time, it was -2F but the wind chill made it feel more like -25, CBC News reported.

A spokesman for the Fire Department said the building was evacuated around 4 a.m. Sunday when carbon monoxide was detected. Residents were allowed back about two hours later.

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Rowley Hotte was seen on security cameras collapsing shortly after she left the building, according to the CBC. She was wearing winter clothing when she went outside.

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Police blamed the death on hypothermia, the CBC reported.