A man from West Virginia was taken into custody on July 15th, 2022, for attempting to kill his sister. The woman spent two years in a coma after the attack.
In a twist of fate, Daniel J. Palmer III, 55, died only two days after his sister Wanda woke up from a coma and only managed to identify her brother as her attacker.
The attack happened in June 2020, leaving Wanda "attacked, hacked, and left for dead." The officers in the Jackson County Sheriff's Office talked to People. In a statement, Sheriff Ross Mellinger said that "Palmer was transported to the Charleston Hospital Wednesday and was pronounced dead the following day."
Though it is not confirmed, Mellinger believes Palmer died of natural causes.
"It was an avalanche of recurring health issues. He generally was not a healthy man, to begin with, and once he got to jail his health continued to spiral downhill."
Palmer was in custody for seven days before dying and did not cooperate with the authorities.
Mellinger further explained:
"From an investigator's standpoint, it is unfortunate we don't get the chance to see the case through. We turn the focus towards the victim in the case and hope she continues to get better. She has a long road ahead of her."
Wanda Palmer was found at her home near Cottageville, West Virginia, "seated on the couch with her head slumped over."
Mellinger told People that the likely weapon "used was a hatchet or machete."
The night before the nearly fatal attack, a witness saw Wanda on her front porch. However, the police did not have much else.
Mellinger further said that Palmer was always a "person of interest."
"We had legitimately nothing to go on other than a person who drove by at midnight on their way home from shift work sees him standing on the porch."
Wanda Palmer, 51, made an astonishing recovery, as Mellinger explained:
"We traveled two hours to get to where she was being housed," he says. "Her speech is very primitive. One- and two-word type conversations, but she was able to clearly identify her brother and identify him by name as well. And describe in a very primitive form where she was hit and where she was injured."
"It certainly gave us the traction we needed to move forward on our end."
Despite Palmer's death, Wanda got "her voice back, and most importantly, her voice mattered," said Mellinger.
The brother had a violent history toward his younger sister. The weapon he used to nearly kill his sister is still not found.