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Frostbitten man found in trailer dies of hypothermia after winter storm

The man died accidentally from "hypothermia due to exposure" according to preliminary autopsy results.

BEAUMONT, Texas — A 65-year-old LaBelle man may be the first person reported in Jefferson County to have died due to the winter storm last month.

Daniel Vester Phillips, 65, was found dead inside his mobile home on Country Lane in Labelle on Sunday, Feb. 21, 2021, according to Jefferson County Precinct 7 Justice of the Peace Brad Burnett.

Phillips, who was found following a week in which below freezing temperatures were recording all over Southeast Texas, died accidentally from "hypothermia due to exposure" according to preliminary autopsy results Burnett told 12News.

Results from a toxicology report are still pending. Phillips was found deceased in his mobile home in LaBelle after his family reported they hadn't heard from him in "a few days."

According to the preliminary autopsy results, there were signs of frostbite to Phillips' hands, feet and lower body. Temperatures at scene were reported to be below 30 degrees.

Burnett also said that in his 20 years on the job, this is the first death he has seen in Southeast Texas where the cause of death was ruled as hypothermia due to exposure.

Broussard's Mortuary handled his cremation. There are no scheduled funeral services.  

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This is a developing story. We will update with more if and when we receive more confirmed information.

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