A 30-year-old El Dorado woman appears to have frozen to death after being outdoors for several hours overnight in wind chills below zero, authorities said.
Beth Ann Noffsinger rode out early Monday morning to Cattle Pen Road, just south of U.S. 54 about 15 miles east of El Dorado and near the Greenwood County line, with her fiancé, Butler County Sheriff’s Capt. Adam Spickler said.
Noffinger’s fiancé, 52-year-old Lewis Wygle, called 911 at 12:44 a.m. to report that she became disoriented for some reason, got out of their vehicle and began running. She was not wearing a coat, Spickler said.
An initial search of the rural area by Butler and Greenwood county deputies proved unsuccessful, Spickler said.
A search-and-rescue operation was then conducted, using the Butler County Rescue Squad, Rosalia Fire Rescue, Augusta Department of Public Safety and Kansas Highway Patrol air support.
“It was really cold out there at 2 a.m.,” Spickler said.
Wind chills were in the low single digits at about 1 a.m. in the area and below zero at 6 a.m., said Andy Kleinsasser, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service office in Wichita.
Noffsinger’s body was found at 6:45 am. in a field. She was pronounced dead at the scene.
There were no visible signs of trauma on her body, Spickler said. An autopsy has been requested to confirm the cause of death.
The incident remains under investigation.