Fayette County

Hypothermia caused death of man found behind Wildcat Warehouse on South Broadway

Robert Eugene Johnson
Robert Eugene Johnson Lexington

Monday’s cold claimed the life of a man in Lexington, according to the Fayette County coroner’s office.

Robert Eugene Johnson, 41, died of “environmental exposure-hypothermia,” the release said.

The body was found at 6:30 a.m. Monday behind Wildcat Warehouse, the University of Kentucky T-shirt and apparel store on South Broadway in Lexington. The manner of death was listed as an accident.

Hypothermia occurs when the body loses heat faster than it can produce heat, causing a dangerously low body temperature, according to the Mayo Clinic. Normal body temperature is around 98.6 degrees Fahrenheit. Hypothermia occurs as body temperature passes below 95 degrees Fahrenheit.

When body temperature drops, the heart, nervous system and other organs can’t work normally. Left untreated, hypothermia can eventually lead to complete failure of the heart and respiratory system and to death.

Hypothermia is most often caused by exposure to cold weather or immersion in a cold body of water.