"I think he just stayed outside too long."
Lashawn Featherson was still in shock following her brother's death Wednesday morning. Marcel Nugent, 32, was found lying outside his Binghampton apartment, an apparent victim of the heat. His death was the sixth to be recorded during the torrid heat wave that has blanketed the Mid-South for more than a week.
"Maybe he didn't have enough fluids - didn't drink enough water liquids," Featherson said.
It was a tragic ending for the life of a young man who had already beaten death twice. Last year Nugent survived a devastating fire, and when he was 19, robbers tried to shoot him to death.
"(He) ended up having bullets still left in him, so after a while the bullets messed up his nervous system, so he kind of lost his mind," Featherson said.
The shooting changed Nugent, his sister said, from a happy and outgoing man to a bi-polar schizophrenic. Relatives had hoped Nugent's desire to move into his own apartment several months ago would help, but they he stopped taking his medicine, and spent a lot of time just walking the neighborhood.
"Me and my uncle would try to go over there and get him to drink water and take his medicine, but basically he was like a little child," Featherson said.
Relatives said Nugent's apartment did not have air conditioning, and he had been outside for several hours before he collapsed just outside his front door.
Featherson said trying to get medical help for her brother was frustrating. She hoped his death would focus attention on the need for special assistance for the mentally ill, and others who are at risk from deadly heat.