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Woman Delivering Food Makes Gruesome Porch Discovery

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Mobile Meals is one of many programs across the nation that deliver food to elderly, disabled, or otherwise shut-in individuals. This multi-purpose service also ensures that often forgotten community members are regularly checked on.

This is particularly important during the cold winter months where elderly and disabled persons are more susceptible to the harsh elements. Age- and condition-related poor circulation makes these populations more vulnerable to frostbite and hypothermia.

Sara Henson was happy to return to her normal route with Mobile Meals in Middlebury, Ohio, after a week vacation during the Christmas holiday.

Particularly, she looked forward to her chat with Darnell Wilson, a friendly recipient toward the end of her route.

Upon her arrival, she noticed that the enclosed porch chairs were out of place. She knew that something wasn’t right.

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With nervous caution, she approached the porch. Much to her dismay and heartbreak, she found Wilson unresponsive on his back.

The 86-year-old was on his back with his wheelchair and cane nearby. His shoes, however, were across the element-vulnerable porch.

As calmly as she could, she dialed 911 and informed the dispatcher that she was unsure if Wilson was breathing. Police later confirmed her worst fear: Wilson was dead.



In this line of work, it’s not unheard of for a delivery worker to discover the client passed on within their home — usually tucked in their bed. Finding Wilson exposed has haunted Henson.

The medical examiner’s office in Summit County confirmed that Wilson died of hypothermia. When the body’s temperature dips too low, organs shut down.

Without proper and immediate intervention, death is inevitable.

When this happens, the mind becomes foggy and disoriented, preventing the person from taking self-preserving action. Officials have deemed Wilson’s death an accident.

Wilson lived with a family friend who was not home at the time of Henson’s discovery. Officials have not been able to pinpoint a time of death and thus do not know how long Wilson had been outside.

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Loved ones, including Henson, have already begun to mourn Wilson, who was described by one of three surviving daughters as loving and outgoing. Henson considered Wilson one of her favorite stops and will miss seeing him on her route.


Every year, tragic stories of seniors freezing to death in their homes due to insufficient heat make headlines. Each year, we’re reminded to check on elderly relatives and neighbors during this time of year to make sure they have adequate heat and supplies to get them through the cold snaps.

Freezing to death is believed to be scary and painful. In a year where the cold has reached new lows and unlikely locations, we’d all do good making the extra effort this season to ensure everyone in our communities see the beautiful green of spring.

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