BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — A 57-year-old homeless man, who died from cold weather exposure Christmas Day, was trying to travel from Louisiana to Tennessee to get to family members, officials said.
Charles Wilson Ligon Jr. was found dead by hunters in southern Mississippi Monday. Ligon was dressed in a light jacket and had money and a cellphone, The Times-Picayune reported.
“We were able to notify next of kin, and it was evident that the family was trying to work with him to get him back to Tennessee. But he didn’t have the means of getting a bus ticket or getting money wired to him,” Pearl River County Coroner Derek Turnage told the Sun Herald of Biloxi. “He didn’t have a current ID, which was the reason why he could not get those things done. The family was struggling to get him there.”
Ligon left Slidell, Louisiana, in mid-December without a vehicle and was living in the woods during the time of his death, Turnage said.
Blinding blizzards, freezing rain and frigid cold that stretched from Maine to Seattle over the holiday weekend is blamed for at least 49 deaths across the country. The National Weather Service says about 60% of the U.S. population faced some sort of winter weather advisory or warning during the widespread Arctic Blast.
Additionally, in the Deep South cold weather has upended water systems after days of freezing temperatures.