CROOKSTON, Minn. (Valley News Live) It’s a sad, Thanksgiving week story out of the northern valley today. A homeless Minneapolis woman has died, after living in squalor along the Red Lake River near Crookston.
The victim has been identified as 34-year old Erin Koplitz. She’s originally from the Minneapolis area, but had been living around Crookston the past 5 years.
This was Erin Koplitz' final home, along the Red Lake River near Crookston. It’s tarps strung over trees, with a tent setup under the tarps.
Inside, a stray cat scattered away as a home of wet, cold and filth is revealed . There are a couple of cans of food and other household items strewn all over, in a tent that was letting the rain leak in today. The bedroom appears to be made of cushions from furniture and some dirty blankets.
Erin Koplitz had been staying here with a man authorities have not identified. On Friday morning, that man made a 911 call saying Koplitz was unresponsive.
Koplitz was taken here to Riverview Hospital in Crookston where she later died. I’m told by some she may have been suffering from pneumonia, she also had a history of meth use.
At this point, authorities are not saying exactly what lead to her death.
Reporter: “At this point, it doesn’t appear there was foul play?”
Mike Norland, Polk County Sheriff’s Dept: “Like I said, we did an autopsy and we’re just kind of waiting for the final autopsy results to come through.”
Reporter: “I’ve heard from people that she was suffering from pneumonia?”
Mike Norland, Polk County Sheriff’s Dept: “I can’t speak to that. It’s still under investigation.”
The investigation and autopsy will likely uncover exactly what killed Koplitz. However, it won’t uncover exactly what lead a 34-year old woman with a long life ahead of her, to end up here.
Unfortunately, law enforcement can’t save people from themselves.
Crookston Police Chief Paul Biermaier says, if they do see someone in town who appears to be endangering themselves through drugs or alcohol, they’re taken to the Emergency Room for an evaluation. At that point, they may be taken to a specialty treatment center.