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Woman Awakens From Two-Year Coma After Hatchet Attack, Stuns Cops By Naming Her Assailant

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A West Virginia woman who had been in a coma for two years after being brutally attacked in her home awoke and pointed her finger at the man who allegedly did it: Her own brother.

Wanda Palmer was clinging to life in her Ravenwood home next door to her mother’s house on June 10, 2020. She had suffered massive head trauma, possibly from blows with a hatchet, and authorities did not think she would survive, according to Law & Crime.

“I wouldn’t have wagered a nickel for her life that morning,” Jackson County Sheriff Ross Mellinger said Friday, according to WCHS. “She was in that bad of shape. Quite honestly, she was unconscious, circling the drain medically.”

Palmer’s mother, Eileen, told WTAP after the attack that landscapers had found her daughter inside the house in a pool of blood.

“They came Wednesday morning to mow her grass, and they found her in a pool of blood,” Eileen Palmer said. “They said they ran up on the hill real fast and told us, and I called the police.”

Eileen Palmer was stunned that the attack, in the quiet town in the western part of the state near the Ohio River, could have been carried out undetected.

“I had my windows open in my home, and we never heard one thing,” she said.

Daniel Palmer has been charged with the near fatal attack of his sister two years ago.

Daniel Palmer has been charged with the near fatal attack of his sister two years ago. (Jackson County Sheriff’s Office)

Mellinger said Friday his officers had little to go on at the time. No weapon was recovered and there were no witnesses.

“We had a little bit of an idea what happened, but the problem was with the nuts and bolts of the case we had nothing to go on,” he told WV MetroNews in a Friday report. “There was no eyewitnesses, nobody [else] lived in the home, no surveillance footage, no cell phone records. There was virtually nothing there to move forward on.”

Police were suspicious of Daniel Palmer III, 55, but until Wanda Palmer awoke and identified him, they never had enough to build a case, Mellinger said.

When authorities learned Wanda Palmer had awakened at the facility that has cared for her for two years, they paid her a visit. And although she suffered severe brain damage, she still identified Daniel Palmer as her attacker, authorities told MetroNews.

“From an investigator’s standpoint, this is about as rare as it gets,” Mellinger told WCHS. “I think it’s a true testament to the perseverance and the strength of the victim herself.”

Daniel Palmer is being held at the South Central Regional Jail in Charleston on a $500,000 bond.

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