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Forum staff report, Published January 06 2009

Naytahwaush woman’s death ruled accidental

MAHNOMEN, Minn. - A 21-year-old Naytahwaush woman who was found dead Friday after leaving a New Year’s Eve party died of exposure to the elements, and her death has been ruled accidental, the Mahnomen County Sheriff’s Office said today.

An autopsy performed Monday on Lorraine Lizebeth Londo showed that drugs weren’t a factor in her death. Test results for alcohol are pending, but it is expected to be a contributing factor in her death, the sheriff’s office said in a news release.

A full coroner’s report is expected in about a month.

Sheriff’s Investigator Brady Burnside said Londo left the New Year’s Eve party between 3 and 3:30 a.m. Friday.

Londo’s father, Corvin Londo, has said he believes his daughter walked in the wrong direction after leaving the party, which was on the same block as her home.

Corvin Londo notified law enforcement at 5:30 p.m. Friday that he found his daughter’s body in a clearing of a wooded area about one-fourth of a mile from her home.

Burnside said it appears Lorraine Londo left the party alone, and foul play is not suspected.

No one at the party will face criminal liability, he said, adding he doesn’t expect any civil action, either.

“The families all know each other, and everyone’s pretty much resigned themselves that it was just a tragic accident,” he said.

“There are people (who were) at the party that are having a hard time with it because they knew she was really intoxicated, and some people feel responsible that they should have done more and watched out for her a little more,” he added. “But there were sober people at the party that tried to look out for her and other people at the party, but she just kind of slipped away.”

The tribal village of Naytahwaush is about 22 miles east of Mahnomen and has a population of about 600.