FREELAND, MI. (WJRT/WILX) -- The Jaros family had gone to invite their relative over for dinner, but there was no answer at the door.
With no sounds of movement inside, no foot tracks in the snow, and a full mailbox with the last date postmarked Jan. 16, they immediately called police.
"They went inside. They were inside for just a few minutes, and they came out and told us they found him frozen to death. That's what they said to us."
Dying in 26 degrees alone was bad enough, but walking around the home and seeing how he suffered first-hand put the family in tears...
"He's very, very skinny. Didn't have a lot of fat to live on, and if you can't cook, can't take a hot shower, can't microwave anything to eat or drink, eating cold foods, there's no words."
The family began wondering why his power was shut off.
Police are now investigating his death. The cause of death was ruled as hypothermia.
Authorities say he paid his past-due electric bill, but Consumers Energy didn't restore service.
Investigators say Consumers Energy cut electricity and natural gas service from the house in July.
Jaros' house was only 25 degrees inside and he didn't have any phone service or a cell phone.
Consumers says turned off service to Jaros' home due to nonpayment, but police say his overdue bill was paid in full on July 15.
However, the company never was contacted to restore service after the payment was received.
In a statement, Consumers Energy said...
"Consumers Energy learned Saturday afternoon about the death of a Freeland resident. Consumers Energy stopped providing natural gas in May 2019 and electricity in July 2019 to this person’s home due to non-payment of bills. The balance on the account was paid later in July, but Consumers Energy did not receive a request to restore service or a payment for the restoration fee. The instructions to restore service appear on all customer shut-off notices. We are currently working with local law enforcement officials to understand more about the situation and are reviewing this person’s account records. Our thoughts and sympathies go out to this person's friends and loved ones."
Police plan to turn over reports on the death to the Saginaw County Prosecutor's Office for review of possible criminal charges.
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