Police believe man was running to get help for injured mom, both found dead in cold weather

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SPOTSYLVANIA COUNTY, Va. – An elderly woman and her son were found dead near their home in Virginia Sunday, and officials said it appears the son died after suffering a medical issue while running to get help for his injured mother. Both were exposed to overnight temperatures as cold as 10 degrees.

FOX 13 News sister station WTVR reports that the body of 84-year-old Viola Cox was found near the back steps of her home, and police said it appears she fell down the steps. Her son, 60-year-old Douglas Cox, was found on a trail that connected the home to a neighbor’s residence. WTVR reports that both bodies had been in the cold “for some time” and that temperatures were around 10 degrees overnight in the area.

“Our initial investigation of this scene appears to show that Mrs. Cox suffered a medical emergency last night and as her son was attempting to summon aid by utilizing a trail leading to a neighbor’s house, he also suffered a medical emergency,” Spotsylvania Sheriff Roger Harris said in a statement provided by WTVR.

The bodies were found Sunday around 8:20 a.m., and a medical examiner will investigate to determine the time and cause of death for both individuals.

“This is a tragic set of circumstances that led to a very terrible ending for both people,” Spotsylvania Sheriff’s Office Captain Jeff Pearce told WTVR. “There was no forced entry into the house and no signs of trauma or violence to the victims.”

Click here for updates and local coverage of this story from WTVR.