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Wife of Nobel Prize winner from Purdue died of exposure, hypothermia

A coroner’s office has ruled that the wife of a Nobel Prize-winning chemistry professor died of exposure and hypothermia.

Sauk Valley Media reports that the Ogle County Coroner’s Office ruled the death of 80-year-old Sumire Negishi was accidental. Sheriff’s deputies found her body March 13 in a vehicle at the Orchard Hills Landfill outside Rockford in northern Illinois. Shortly after, they found Ei-ichi Negishi walking nearby.

Relatives have said Sumire Negishi was “near the end of her battle with Parkinson’s” disease and Ei-ichi Negishi may have been suffering from confusion and shock.

The Negishis had been reported missing the day before from their home about 200 miles away in West Lafayette, Indiana, where Ei-ichi Negishi is a Purdue University chemistry professor.

The Japanese scientist won a Nobel Prize in chemistry in 2010.