Hypothermia likely cause of death for elderly woman found dead on Bishop Fenwick H.S.


An elderly woman whose body was found on Bishop Fenwick High School’s property Wednesday morning has been identified, according to the Warren County Coroner’s Office.

Waultraut Lafferty had no significant injuries and hypothermia is being considered as a cause of death, according to the coroner’s office.

Middletown police said Wednesday Lafferty was in her 80s.

This story will be updated as we learn more.


The death of a woman found on the property of Bishop Fenwick High School Wednesday morning is not believed to be a result of foul play and may have been weather related, said Middletown Police Chief David Birk.

Birk said the woman’s body was found near the south side of the building by teachers who were arriving at the campus for the day around 7:40 a.m.

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The woman, who was in her 80s, was believed to have wandered from her Shaker Road home around 2 a.m. A family member had checked on her last night prior to her walking off, Birk said.

“It’s a pretty good distance to travel, especially with the cold weather last night,” Birk said. “She was barefoot at the time.”

“It can happen really quick,” he said.

Birk said the district was able to reroute students and buses arriving at the school to avoid any students seeing the woman’s body.

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Temperatures were dangerously cold Wednesday morning in Middletown, with temperatures as low as 2 degrees in the city.

Wind chill values were as low as 5 below and 10 below zero overnight, which prompted some counties in the Miami Valley to be under a Wind Chill Advisory.

Birk said it is important to have a plan to check on neighbors and other people in your family to make sure they are safe when extreme cold moves into the area.

“We just have to do everything we can to prevent this from happening,” Birk said. “This is a tragedy for everybody.”

The name of the woman was not immediately released pending notification of family.