Family: Woman killed by hypothermia evicted from home months ear - KPTV - FOX 12

Family: Woman killed by hypothermia evicted from home months earlier

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PORTLAND, OR (KPTV) -

Family members of the woman who died of hypothermia in a Portland parking garage Saturday said she had been evicted from her home only months earlier.

Now they are wondering if more could have been done.

Karen Lee Batts, 52, was found in the Smart Park garage at Southwest 10th Avenue and Morrison Street at 2:05 p.m.

Witnesses said Batts appeared to be struggling in the cold weather. She was pronounced dead at the scene.

Police believed she had died due to exposure to cold temperatures. An autopsy later confirmed her death was the result of hypothermia.

Batts’ brother, Alan Batts, said his sister was diagnosed with schizophrenia in the 1980s. He said her internal struggle seemed to cause a shift in their relationship.  

“She did call on my phone in December and I knew that she wasn’t on her medication and I didn’t pick up the phone,” Alan Batts said.

According to family members, Karan Batts had not taken her medication for over a year. Her family said it was hard to get a hold of her.

“I never had a way to call her back because she had her phone off. Then she got rid of her phone all together so we were just in limbo, we couldn’t even reach her,” said Batts’ mother Elizabeth.

Alan Batts said he had police do a welfare check at his sister’s apartment in Southwest Portland in August.

Karen responded to the door and police determined she wasn’t a threat to herself or others.

Court documents later show Karen was evicted from her apartment a month later for not paying her rent.

Her family believed she was homeless during the months leading up to her death.

“We could’ve helped her but no one told us anything,” Elizabeth said.

Anyone who sees someone whose life appears to be in danger or is in need of immediate medical attention is asked to call 911 right away. Otherwise, to request a welfare check for someone who may not be prepared for the weather conditions, call the police non-emergency line at 503-823-3333.

For shelter information, call 211.

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