SAN BERNARDINO (CBSLA.com) — A local woman has died after being found near her wheelchair and authorities believe she may have died due to extreme heat.
The San Bernardino County Sheriff-Coroner Department said in a statement that 49-year-old Cindy Marie Grycel was found unconscious next to her wheelchair about 12:30 p.m. Wednesday.
The discovery was made at a dry riverbed at East 40th and Harrison streets in San Bernardino.
CBS2’s Greg Mills reported that a postal worker found Grycel and called authorities. She was taken to Community Hospital of San Bernardino where she was pronounced dead late Thursday night.
According to the statement, “the cause of her death appears to be heat related.” However, an autopsy is expected to be performed.
A resident of San Bernardino, authorities say they are unable to locate Grycel’s family and believe she was a transient.
“It’s critically important for all of those involved in public safety to be aware of the homeless because they are probably at the greatest risk of all,” Mark Karlin, a former paramedic, told Mills.
Karlin is an executive with American Medical Response in Riverside. He said a key issue in the Inland Empire is the humidity.
“It’s a little more difficult for people to regulate their own body temperature. The hotter it gets and then you add the additional humidity on top of it. Obviously it becomes a significant problem for many people,” he said.