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Hypothermia ruled cause of reservation death

propane shortage
propane shortage

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) -- An autopsy has concluded that a woman found dead in an unheated home during a propane crisis on the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation died of hypothermia.

The body of 61-year-old Debbie Dogskin was found Feb. 4 in a mobile home with an empty propane tank. Sioux County Sheriff Frank Landeis says the official cause of death is ''hypothermia due to exposure to cold temperature.''

The temperature that day in Fort Yates dropped to 1 degree below zero.

Landeis says authorities are still awaiting results of toxicology tests that will show if Dogskin had drugs or alcohol in her system. Her family has said she was house-sitting for a friend.

The Standing Rock tribe declared a state of emergency last winter when a nationwide propane shortage caused prices to soar.