When the attack happened not only did authorities believe the victim wouldn’t survive, but they weren’t sure the case could be solved.
But two years later, a West Virginia woman who was put into two-year long coma following a brutal attack awoke and identified her brother as her attacker.
Authorities arrested him without incident.
According to local news, Wendy Palmer was violently beaten, possibly with a hatchet or machete, in her home.
“When we got there, to be honest we thought she was dead,” Jackson County Sherriff Ross Mellenger said.
Authorities followed multiple leads, but each one ended in a dead end.
“There was no eye witnesses, nobody lived in the home, no surveillance footage, no cell phone records. There was virtually nothing there to move forward on.”
While authorities remained stumped, Palmer received care at a long term care facility in New Martinsville, West Virginia.
It was only recently that staff at the facility contacted authorities to let them know Palmer was awake, and despite the severe brain damage she suffered, she was still able to communicate.
“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.
Although Palmer was only able to answer yes or no questions, she was able to provide enough information to identify her brother, Daniel, as her attacker.
Authorities arrested and questioned Daniel, who reportedly was not surprised by the allegations. He was charged with attempted murder and malicious wounding.
The investigation is ongoing.