On January 17, 2009 neighbors in Bay City, Michigan found a 93 year old man frozen to death in his home. The city owned utility company had installed a “limiter” on his electric meter on the 13th and left a note on his door. No one tried to contact him face to face to tell him how the device works. It acts like a circuit breaker to shut off the power when usage exceeds a set amount, the homeowner has to go outside and reset the thing. No one will ever know if he understood what had been done or how it worked. The utility followed its usual policy of just leaving a note.
On January 29, 2009 a reporter for the Detroit News out of Detroit, Michigan received a tip that a man s body was frozen in the ice in an elevator shaft in an abandon warehouse. The body had been found a week earlier by a group of “urban explores” playing hockey on the frozen water that had collected in the buildings basement. It took three calls to 911 over a two day time span before anyone from the city did anything. What’s more there were homeless people living in the building who had known about the body for at least a month.
On Thursday January 29, 2009 the Detroit News told of a man found frozen to death in his truck at his rural home in Sumpter Township. It appears he was living in the truck because there was no heat, electricity, or running water inside the house and he had a heater in the truck hooked to an electric generator outside of it. He was found by metal scrapers passing through his property. He had been dead at least two weeks and no one had checked on him.
In each case someone knew or should have known what was happening. Someone should have checked on them or in the case of the man in the ice reported him to the police. Each one was a case of indifference and isolation. No one checked on them and in each case they were isolated from relatives and neighbors. Each time it was something that should never happened the way it did.