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BUFFALO, N.Y. – A family is mourning the loss of a grandmother who went out on Christmas Eve during a blizzard in Buffalo and died just a few hundred feet away from her home.

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At least 40 people died in western New York in the winter storm that swept through over the holiday weekend, The Associated Press reported.

Among the victims was Monique Alexander, who went out the door promising to return, but never did.

Alexander, 52, told her daughter that she would be right back and went outside without saying where she was going, CNN reported. Casey Maccarone, who lived with her mother, told CNN that she assumed her mother was trying to get to the stores before they closed.

“She loved her grandkids and her family,” Maccarone told the Buffalo News. “She just loved taking care of people. She was the sweetest person.”

Thirty minutes after Alexander left, Maccarone tried to call her mother but could only hear the wind on the other end of the line, she told The New York Times. When she tried to call back, the call went directly to voicemail.

Two hours after her mother left, Maccarone posted in a Facebook group to ask if anyone had seen her mother. She heard almost immediately from a man who said he had found her mother’s body, The New York Times reported.

“He saw my mother in the snow, he picked her up, and placed her under the awning,” Maccarone told the Buffalo News. “He tried to put her body somewhere where they could find her.”

Alexander’s body had been found just a few hundred feet away from her home, CNN reported.

“She’s always felt like superwoman and invincible, so I’m assuming that she just thought she could handle the conditions,” Maccarone told CNN. “Can’t really tell my mom anything, she’s going to do what she wants to do. I’m assuming she just thought she was strong enough for it.”

The National Guard has been going door to door in Buffalo to check on people who lost power after the storm, the AP reported. Authorities have warned more victims may be found as the snow melts.