Woman reported missing before dying in front of City Hall

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) - The woman found dead in front of City Hall on Wednesday was the subject of a City Watch just days prior to her death.

Sheley Thompson died on a Main Street bench during one of the coldest nights this winter.

A 3-mile walk is how long it takes to travel from Lucy Avenue to City Hall, the place where Thompson lived and the place where she took her last breath.

Memphis Mayor Jim Strickland said Thompson was staying in temporary housing on Lucy Avenue when she got into an argument with other people staying at the home. She left the home, venturing out into the cold.

She was found dead the next morning, lying on a bench in the freezing weather.

Memphis Police Department said weather is believed to be her cause of death, but the medical examiner will make the official determination.

Those who knew her said they're completely shocked and heartbroken.

"I came close to shedding tears," neighbor Stanley Harris said. Harris lives in the same temporary care home as Thompson.

"Very nice woman, very pleasing - had a very approachable personality and she was a very spiritual woman," Harris said.

Harris said he's both shocked and saddened to learn about the death of someone he said was full of life and ambition.

"I knew a person that was looking for better things in life, and she didn't know how to go about getting them, and she felt stuck here at this care home, and I guess she felt like exploring and find out how she can live a better life," Harris said.

Harris said the care home does a great job of helping people get on the right track, but he thinks more work can be done to help those in need.

"I think much more can be done in terms of helping the poor get on their feet and to be independent," Harris said.

We reached out to the home care facility where Thompson stayed and have yet to hear back.

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