Heat Blamed for Fourth Arkansas Death

AUGUST 10, 2006 - Posted at 10:52 a.m. CDT

LITTLE ROCK, AR - The heat is being blamed or a fourth death in Arkansas.

Ann Wright, a spokeswoman for the state Health & Human Services Department, says the death of an adult in central Arkansas was heat related.  Wright said she is prohibited by federal law from releasing any other details.

On July 20, North Little Rock police discovered the body of 33-year-old Donald Southerland at a residence.  The coroner's office said Southerland's body temperature was 108 degrees more than an hour after he died.

Two days earlier, 76-year-old Versia Sanders was found dead in her North Little Rock apartment, where temperatures had reached 100 degrees inside.  Outside, it was 82 degrees.  Sander's boyfriend told North Little Rock police that she refused to turn on her air conditioner.

In July, Wright said a "young" person in central Arkansas also had died because of the heat.

(Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)