Family searches for answers in Clear Lake death

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(ABC 6 News) – Friday is the funeral of a 34-year-old St. Louis man who served our country in Afghanistan and died after being found in freezing temperatures on the streets of Clear Lake, Iowa.

ABC 6 News has obtained new details in the investigation into his death – but its information his family and friends say doesn’t make sense.

Mark Monroe was a dedicated family man and decorated Afghanistan war veteran. He died December 18, a long way away from his home in St. Louis, Missouri. His family drove from St. Louis to Clear Lake, to retrieve his body.

“But when I looked at him, the person I grew up with, I could tell he was hurting,” said Whitney Monroe, Mark’s sister.

A truck driver for a living, Monroe had been passing through Iowa when it’s believed he stopped in Clear Lake for the night.

The Clear Lake Police Department said Monroe was found early in the morning lying on the ground downtown, near the 200 block of 1st Ave N. He died after being taken to the hospital, according to police.

RELATED: Death investigation underway in Clear Lake

Investigators with the CLPD ruled out foul play.

According to police, the medical examiner has determined the official cause of death as “hypothermia with acute alcohol intoxication and other significant factor.”

His family and fellow soldiers say none of it makes sense – describing him as a goofball, who didn’t need to drink to have a good time.

“It just doesn’t make sense. Mark was not that person. He rarely ever drank,” said Matthew Chrastka, his friend and fellow veteran who fought along Monroe in Afghanistan.

Loved ones say Monroe was a hard worker. He was saving up to buy a home and he recently bought his sister a car. He loved celebrating Halloween with his nephews, and never missed a birthday, or a holiday.

Clear Lake Police says because this investigation is still ongoing they will not comment further.

Anyone with information regarding the case are asked to contact the CLPD at 641-355-4405. The family asks people to email