Sources: S.I. Day Laborer Died From Exposure
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The brutally cold temperatures may have claimed the life of a day laborer on Staten Island.
Fire officials say Luis Reyes, 38, a day laborer from Mexico, was found dead Sunday morning.
Sources say Reyes was staying in an abandoned house at 424 Morningstar Road for two months, a location that residents say is known to attract squatters because it has been for sale for years.
"The house recently was boarded up, but before that it wasn't really boarded so people would come in and out and I guess people...either kids were using it to hang out or people who didn't have a place to stay would go in there," said Port Richmond resident John Morris.
EMS units responded to a 911 call for a cardiac arrest victim, but when they arrived, they determined Reyes had been dead for hours.
While the official cause of death has not been determined, sources say a preliminary investigation notes there was no heat or hot water in the home.
"The understanding is he had died from exposure," said Terry Troia of Project Hospitality.
Meanwhile, residents in the Port Richmond community are raising money to help send the body back to his family in Mexico.
"It is very difficult. Maybe no money, no place, no friends, so what you can do, maybe just stay outside, it's tough. Nothing we can do," said Port Richmond resident Sergio Sanchez.
With temperatures barely expected to be in the double digits this weekend, anyone who knows someone with no place to stay on Staten Island is urged to call Project Hospitality at (718) 448-1544 ext. 103 for help.