After two years in a coma, West Virginia woman wakes to name brother in attack

After two years in a coma, West Virginia woman wakes to name brother in attack
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A West Virginia woman awoke from a years-long coma after being brutally attacked and identified her brother as the assailant, authorities said.

Wanda Palmer had been in a long-term care facility in New Martinsville, West Virginia, after being beaten in her home in June of 2020 and “left for dead,” according to a Jackson County Sheriff Department statement.

Daniel Palmer, Wanda Palmer’s brother, was arrested and booked on suspicion of attempted murder and malicious wounding of his sister near Cottageville, the sheriff said.

When Palmer was discovered, Jackson County Sheriff Ross Mellinger said she was so savagely attacked, authorities thought she was dead, according to West Virginia Metro News.

Palmer’s care facility contacted authorities last week to let them know the woman had come out of her coma, the Metro News reported.


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Wanda Palmer.
Wanda Palmer.Jackson County WV Sheriff’s Office

NBC News has contacted Jackson County Sheriff’s Department for comment.

Medical staff told authorities that, despite suffering brain damage from the assault, that Palmer was able to speak enough to identify her assailant, Metro News reported.

“The keys to the whole thing lay with the victim herself and with her unable to communicate we were left with nothing. Now low and behold two years later and boom, she’s awake and able to tell us exactly what happened,” Mellinger told Metro News.

“He didn’t give us any fight or anything. There was a little bit of surprise, but not entirely,” Mellinger told Metro News of the arrest.

Officials said they believed Daniel Palmer allegedly attacked his sister with a machete or a hatchet.

He was arrested on suspicion of attempted murder and malicious wounding.

It was not immediately clear if Daniel Palmer had retained an attorney.

David K. Li contributed.

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