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Woman Found Dead In Church Parking Lot

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Church (Photo by Johannes Simon/Getty Images)

Church (Photo by Johannes Simon/Getty Images)

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LAKE ZURICH, Ill. (STMW) – A woman, missing since the start of the blizzard Tuesday evening, was found dead inside her vehicle Wednesday night and appears to be the first weather-related death in Lake County because of the storm.

Susan Smith, 57, of unincorporated Mundelein was found inside her vehicle parked in the lot at the Alpine Chapel, 1180 Heather Lane, Lake Zurich.

Lake County Coroner Dr. Richard Keller said today it appears she is the first weather-related death of the storm. An autopsy is scheduled for Friday and authorities will be able to tell if Smith died of hypothermia by checking blood vessels in the stomach, which ruptures in a cold-related death, Keller said.

Smith had been working at the Jewel in Lake Zurich and was stopping by the chapel, where she works as an office manager.

“She was heading home from Jewel, but had an errand (at the chapel), she was just going to stop in,” said Ronn Read, the church’s senior pastor.

Lake Zurich police were unavailable for comment.

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