West Virginia Woman Wakes Up From Two-Year Coma And Identifies Brother As Her Attacker

Wanda Palmer, 51, says it was her brother, Daniel Palmer III, who attacked her with what appeared to be a hatchet or ax before leaving her for dead in June 2020.

July 19, 2022
Wanda Palmer, pictured here smiling, says it was her brother, Daniel Palmer III, who attacked her with what appeared to be a hatchet or ax before leaving her for dead in June 2020.

Wanda Palmer, 51, says it was her brother, Daniel Palmer III, who attacked her with what appeared to be a hatchet or ax before leaving her for dead in June 2020.

Photo by: Jackson County Sheriff's Office

Jackson County Sheriff's Office

After two years in a coma following a brutal attack, Wanda Palmer woke up in July 2022 and was able to identify her attacker. She told police the assailant was her own brother: Daniel Palmer. According to the Jackson County Sheriff’s Department, he has now been charged with attempted murder and malicious wounding.

Wanda, 51, had been bludgeoned in the head with a hatchet or a machete at her Cottageville home in June 2020. After being beaten into unconsciousness, she was left for dead.

“When we got there, to be honest, we thought she was dead,” Jackson County Sheriff Ross Mellenger said, reported the West Virginia Metro News.

Although investigators worked hard to solve the case as Wanda was in a coma, the leads continuously dried up.

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

Wanda Palmer had been in a coma in a long-term care facility in New Martinsville, West Virginia. Investigators traveled there after being told that Palmer’s communication skills were still intact. Although she does have brain damage from the severe attack, she was able to identify her attacker and explain what happened to her.

“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,” Mellenger said.

CNN reported that Wanda Palmer is now coherent, but she cannot yet hold full-length conversations. Daniel Palmer has been arraigned, and a bond has been set at $500,000.

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