Peoria police investigating city’s first possible heat-related death this year

By Philip Haldiman, Independent Newsmedia

The Peoria Police Department is investigating the city’s first possible heat-related death.

The dead female has been identified as Oralia Parra, a 79 year-old Peoria resident.

Spokesman Brandon Sheffert said preliminary investigation shows Ms. Parra died from exposure to the heat. However, he said, the Maricopa County Medical Examiner’s Office is conducting a full investigation to determine the cause of death.

Foul play is not suspected, he said.

“It is not officially ruled a heat related-death, i’ts possibly a heat-related death, but the medical examiner has to provide the official cause of death. We don’t have that yet,” Mr. Sheffert said. “But I do believe this is the first suspected heat-related death.”

Peoria Police received a call from staff at Immanuel Campus of Care, 11301 N. 99th Ave., regarding two elderly females who were missing from the memory care unit, about 1:30 p.m, June 22.

They told police the two females, who suffered from memory loss, had been missing for about thirty minutes and could not be located.

Several officers responded and arrived at the facility to check for the missing elderly women. Mr. Sheffert said officers checked the facility and the nearby neighborhoods and were unable to locate them. After about twenty minutes, while officers were checking the area, a resident in the 9900 block of La Jolla Circle North in Sun City called police to report that two females were in the resident’s backyard. Officers and Sun City Fire-Medical responded to the location and found both females in the backyard, Ms. Parra dead. The other female, an 87 year-old Peoria resident was not injured and was taken back to the care facility. Her identity was not released.

Mr. Sheffert said both women were patients at the memory care unit at Immanuel Campus of Care and it appears they exited the unit through a door that was not secure. The care facility is fully cooperating with the ongoing investigation. No charges have been filed as this is an ongoing and active investigation, he said.

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