Exposure Death

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The family of a woman who died of exposure outside her Lincoln retirement home says she was trapped by unshoveled snow in below-freezing temperatures.

Lincoln police confirm that Barbara Rhodes, 69, died last week due to exposure to the cold. They say she took her dog outside for a walk and was locked out of her retirement home.

Rhodes' family says Rhodes was trapped by two retaining walls on both sides of a stairwell and a mound of snow that blocked the stairs.

Officials at Brentwood Estates say the walkway and stairwell had been cleared before Feb. 5, the day Rhodes died. The National Wether Service reported a snowfall of about seven inches that day.

Lincoln Fire Inspector Darrel Cox went to the center five days after Rhodes' death. He said it would have been very difficult for a person to get out of the area, based on how it looked when he inspected it.