Man's death likely the 8th heat-related fatality in Shelby County this month

Authorities say the stifling heat is to blame for the death of a 53-year-old man found dead in Wednesday in his Midtown apartment.  However, a big question mark hangs over his death.

According to Karen Chancellor, the Shelby County Medical Examiner, the man may have been in his apartment for 10 to 12 days before he was found.

Memphis Police said the man's body was found after neighbors complained of a foul odor coming from his apartment Wednesday afternoon.  The man had no air conditioning, and the temperature in the apartment was more than 100 degrees when he was found.

Chancellor said the public's help may be necessary to identify the man, and pinpoint exactly when he died.  "At this point, we're going to have to get a positive identification of the man," she said. "We're waiting for family to come forward, if any one knows him, and positive identification is going to have to be made."

Chronic health problems, including obesity and heart disease, contributed to the man's death, Chancellor said.

The man's death will likely be considered the eighth heat-related fatality in Memphis during a torrid heat wave that has blanketed Memphis and the Mid-South for more than a week.

Wednesday, a 32-year-old Memphis man was found dead on a lawn outside his apartment. Also Wednesday, a 67-year-old woman visiting Memphis for Elvis Week succumbed to the heat at an RV park near Graceland.

Other heat related deaths in Memphis include a 75-year-old man and 77-year-old woman found separately on Monday, a 70-year-old woman found on Saturday, a 46-year-old woman found on Friday, and a 54-year-old woman found Aug. 7.

The death toll from the current heat wave triples what Memphis saw for the entire summer of 2006, the Shelby County medical examiner's office reported Wednesday.

to email Kontji Anthony.