SIMI VALLEY : Homeless Man Dies of Hypothermia

A 38-year-old homeless man has died of hypothermia, the apparent victim of 40-degree weather that swept through the area over the weekend, authorities said.

William Willenbacher, discovered by police early Saturday outside a post office in Simi Valley and taken to a nearby hospital, became the first transient to die from exposure this year in Ventura County, Deputy Coroner Craig Stevens said.

Police found Willenbacher crawling in the driveway of the post office on Los Angeles Avenue about 8:30 a.m. and took him to Simi Valley Adventist Hospital. His body temperature was measured at 83 degrees, about 15 degrees below normal, the deputy coroner said. Willenbacher died Sunday about 1:30 a.m., Stevens said.

An autopsy revealed that a contributing factor in the man's death was cirrhosis of the liver, Stevens said.

Willenbacher was also determined to be under the influence of alcohol at the time, although the results of a blood test have not been released, Stevens said.

"Alcohol will help lower your body temperature," Stevens said.

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