After 2 Years in Coma, Woman Identifies Brother as Attacker

Daniel Palmer arrested in West Virginia
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 18, 2022 3:00 AM CDT

Two years ago, neighbors found Wanda Palmer on her couch in West Virginia, with injuries so severe that police who arrived on the scene at first thought she was dead. She wasn't, but she had been "attacked, hacked, and left for dead" with what authorities believe was a hatchet or an axe, and Palmer ended up in a coma for two years. Late last month, the woman, now 51, woke up—and identified her own brother as her alleged attacker, CNN reports. A witness reported seeing Palmer's brother, Daniel, on her porch around midnight the night before police found her in June 2020 and police considered him a suspect, but there were no eyewitnesses to the attack and no surveillance footage or phone records to allow them to make an arrest.

After waking up, Palmer could only give very simple information, but was able to communicate to police that her brother had allegedly attacked her because "he was mean," and to give them enough information to finally allow them to arrest him. "Wanda Palmer is now awake to see her assailant in custody - her brother, Daniel Palmer," the Jackson County Sheriff's Department says on Facebook. The 55-year-old, who police say had a "violent history" with his sister, has been charged with attempted murder and malicious wounding. His sister is coherent, but still cannot have entire conversations. "From an investigator's standpoint, this is about as rare as it gets. I think it's a true testament to the perseverance and the strength of the victim herself," the sheriff says, per WCHS. (More West Virginia stories.)

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