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Woman found dead at Lawrence campsite; residents concerned she may have been detoxing

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A woman was found dead in her tent at the city-run campsite for people experiencing homelessness Monday. Other residents believe she may have been trying to detox.

Laura McCabe, a spokesperson for the Lawrence Police Department, said via email that city staff found an unresponsive woman in her tent and called police. The woman was pronounced dead at the scene.

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“Crime Scene Investigators see no immediate signs of foul play,” McCabe said.

A resident of the camp who didn’t want to be named said that they weren’t sure of the cause of death, but the woman, in her early 50s, was known to have seizures.

She was trying to quit using drugs and alcohol on her own, and people who knew her at the camp were worried that she died from complications of detoxing, the resident said.

LPD said in a tweet Monday afternoon that an autopsy would determine the cause of the woman’s death.

The life expectancy of a homeless person is less than 47.6 years on average, according to a meta-analysis published in the International Archives of Public Health and Community Medicine.

“The support site will continue operating this evening, but it remains closed to visitors,” according to a tweet from the city Monday afternoon. “The site is a resource for those in need of emergency shelter and will continue to serve those who depend on it.

“We share our condolences with those who knew the woman who passed away. Our thoughts are with her friends and family as they grieve,” the tweet continued.

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