WVa woman comes out of 2-year coma; accuses brother of trying to kill her
When police first found the woman, they thought she was dead. Now she’s speaking coherently, but not in full sentences
A West Virginia woman who’s been in a coma in a care facility for two years recently woke up and accused her brother of trying to kill her.
In a Facebook post, the Jackson County, West Virginia, Sheriff’s Department announced that Daniel Palmer III, 55, has been charged with attempted murder and malicious wounding following the June 10, 2020, incident.
The statement said Wanda Palmer, now 51, had been “attacked, hacked and left for dead” in her trailer in Cottageville, West Virginia.
The sheriff’s post called for “continued prayers for the victim, please.”
She was found by a neighbor in June 2020. According to The Washington Post, when sheriff’s deputies saw her on her couch, “she was slumped over and bleeding from head wounds.”
The sheriff, Ross Mellinger, told the Post they thought she’d been murdered. “Spectacular” is how he described the fact she’d awakened two years later and named her attacker.
“I wouldn’t have wagered a nickel for her life that morning, she was in that bad of shape,” Mellinger told WCHS. “Quite honestly, she was unconscious, circling the drain medically. Massive, massive amounts of head trauma, consistent with some sort of machete or hatchet-type injury.”
CNN reported that she’d been attacked with a sharp weapon, perhaps an ax or hatchet, but the weapon was never found. The article said one witness reported seeing the brother on her porch around midnight the night before she was found, but there was no video or cellphone data or witness to the attack.
“According to a criminal complaint, the sister and her brother had a violent history, but Daniel Palmer denied any involvement in the attack and said he hadn’t been to his sister’s home in the days before the attack,” according to CNN.
WCHS said that although the brother was a suspect, there was insufficient evidence to arrest him until Wanda Palmer woke up and said he was responsible.
According to WCHS, “It took hours once Daniel was in custody Friday morning to get him to cooperate enough to be arraigned by a magistrate. The magistrate had to physically come to the sheriff’s office from the courthouse to do the arraignment because he was so combative.”
The criminal complaint said that when she was asked why her brother would have attacked her, “Wanda stated that he was mean.”
The Washington Post quoted Mellinger: “From an investigative standpoint, this is kind of the holy grail. You don’t ever get a chance to talk to somebody once they go into a coma.”
WCHS reported that bond was set at $500,000 and Daniel Palmer is in the South Central Regional Jail.