A 11-year-old boy has died of suspected hypothermia in Conroe, Texas, hours after he played in the snow for the first time, as a huge winter storm continued to wreak havoc and cause freezing temperatures across the country.
It was his “first time (seeing snow). That’s why he was excited outside,” the child’s mother Maria Elisa Pineda, 34, told The Houston Chronicle on Thursday. “Everything was well. He was happy that day. He was not at all sick.” The boy was filmed and photographed frolicking in the snow by his mother, and the pair spent half an hour outside before going inside to get warmer.
On Sunday evening, Cristian Pavon Pineda shared a bed with his 3-year-old step-brother in their mobile home that suffered a power loss early Monday on morning, his family told the newspaper.
The family moved to the U.S. from Tela, Honduras, two years ago and were not used to such freezing temperatures.
Although the toddler was fine, the following day, by 2pm, the sixth grader had not stirred. Cristian Pavon Pineda made no complaint of feeling unwell the previous evening, Maria Elisa Pineda said.
After the 11-year-old was found dead on Monday afternoon, his mother and step-father, Manuel Moreno, 38, immediately called the police. Conroe Police Department investigators came to the home and stayed until 8pm that day.
An autopsy was performed Thursday, said Conroe PD spokesman Sgt. Jeff Smith, adding it would take several weeks before cause of death is confirmed.
He said the family home was a 40-year-old single-wide trailer with little insulation. “By all other means, he was a normal, healthy child,” Smith said.
Maria Elisa Pineda is trying to secure her son’s remains and transport them to Honduras, where his grandparents and other family live. The boy’s birth father has been notified of his son’s death.
Moreno’s sister-in-law, Jaliza Yera, has set up a GoFundMe to help with the expenses.
More than 211,000 power outages were reported by Texas early on Friday morning, according to the PowerOutrage.us. The number had previously been over a million, as the southern state’s lowest temperatures in 30 years caused widespread chaos.
Across the state, the freezing temperatures and power outages are disrupting food supply chains, causing shortages. Texans are using up supplies they had stockpiled and losing more as items due to icy cold temperatures and no heating.
At least 30 deaths in Texas are storm-related, the Washington Post reported on Friday. President Joe Biden declared a state of emergency in the southern state, which has been worst-affected by the storm, on January 14.
An estimated 13 million people in Texas were under boil water notices Thursday afternoon as officials responded to the winter storm.
According to the New York Times, temperatures aren’t expected to go above freezing until Saturday.
Originally published at https://www.newsweek.com/texas-boy-dies-suspected-hypothermia-home-power-outage-1570479 on .