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The student at the University of Iowa is among the 20 dead in the mid-west of the freeze

Officials at the local coroner's office said they had performed an autopsy, but had no final results and they did not disclose information about the cause of Death until they did. Police at the University of Iowa said their investigation was continuing, but that Gerald Belz's death was believed to be climate related.

A medical student, he had been in contact with his girlfriend, Leeanne Mehring-Cruz, via text and video messages from Snapchat in the hours leading up to his death, but had left social networks around 1 am

Ms. Mehring-Cruz, who lives in Cedar Rapids, said she had been seeing Gerald Belz for two years. She described him as sweet and bright, someone who only showed his soft side to his family and closest friends. One of the last things she wrote the night before, she said in an interview on Twitter, was that she loved the way he was always there for him through everything.

"I wish I could have protected him at that time," she said.

Ms. Mehring-Cruz said she expects the police to quickly discover where she is going and what happened to her. "I have no idea what I was doing," he said. "The last messages we sent were" I love you and good night. "

Michael Belz said that Gerald, the eldest of his two sons, was a caring and compassionate, studious and avid rugby player who wanted to be a doctor. He had already advanced in his university studies because he had completed Advanced Placement classes in high school.

He played soccer in high school, but then he resorted to rugby. "He loved, much to his mother's disgust, that I wanted to protect him and keep him safe, "said the father." He had a great time with that. "

Belzes saw his son for the last time on Sunday night, when he was visiting at home. He started to fall, and Michael Belz urged him back to campus before things got too slippery.

So Gerald picked up his things, said goodbye and went back to his bedroom. night, he called his mother to give him the usual security: he had arrived safely.

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