A woman found dead near her car on Saturday likely froze to death after walking away from the vehicle.
Alexandra Arnt, 25, was out with friends Friday night and had gone to another friend's home in Cottage Grove after that, according to Woodbury police. She was last seen leaving for home about 2:30 a.m. Her boyfriend found her abandoned car in a ditch near the Woodbury city limits and summoned her family to the scene, as well as police.
"The footprints led immediately and clearly to the road within the clear vicinity," said Michelle Okada, a police spokeswoman. "It's kind of a rural area. There are some homes. A church. In fact, where the vehicle was was right near a church. So they were kind of going down the road, 'Did someone come pick her up? What happened?'"
Authorities found Arnt's phone in her car and started a ground search of the area, but it took several more hours to locate her body. Temperatures had fallen below zero overnight. A preliminary autopsy found she'd died of hypothermia, although toxicology results from her autopsy are still pending.
"As routinely, they're going to continue to investigate, asking questions," said Okada. "The preliminary autopsy results do show death was caused by hypothermia due to cold exposure."