Second Death Linked to Storm

East Hampton Town police said Thursday that there had been a second outdoor death of a resident during the recent snowstorm and subsequent low temperatures.

On Thursday, police discovered the body of Catherine Dransfield, 67, buried in the snow outside a house she shared with her elderly, homebound mother on Hand's Creek Road in East Hampton.

A home aide arrived at the house that morning for a regularly scheduled visit with the mother and became alarmed when she could not find Ms. Dransfield. She called East Hampton Town police, who sent two officers. 

Capt. Chris Anderson said that it appeared that the cause of death was not suspicious and that Ms. Dransfield's mother was unaware that she was missing.

On Wednesday morning, a snowplow operator had called police when he noticed the body of Ralph E. Batalla, 84, in the snow in the yard outside his Springs house. Mr. Batalla had apparently died the night before.

The Suffolk County medical examiner's office is assisting town police in its investigation.

In neither case, Captain Anderson said, was there any indication that the victim had been doing a strenuous snow-related activity, like shoveling. But, he said, "without making a blanket statement," if you can avoid going outside during a winter storm, you should do so.