A man who was arrested after his sister woke from a two-year coma and identified him as her attacker died shortly after being held in custody.
Daniel Palmer, from West Virginia, was charged with attempted murder and malicious wounding in relation to an attack on his sister Wanda with a machete or hatchet in June 2020.
The 55-year-old was taken to South Central Regional Jail in Charleston earlier this month, where he was “uncooperative while in custody and during booking procedures at the jail,” according to a statement to NBC News from the West Virginia Department of Homeland Security, reports The Mirror.
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Palmer was taken to the Charleston Area Medical Center General Hospital following an evaluation by medical staff at the jail and died on Thursday (July 21).
Suicide has been ruled out as a cause of death but there has been no comment from officials on any other details.
Daniel's sister Wanda regained consciousness last week and authorities were alerted by her care centre that she had identified her brother, David, as the alleged attacker.
Ms Palmer was attacked with a weapon at her home in Cottageville, West Virginia, but authorities failed to prosecute anyone previously due to a lack of evidence.
She had been so badly beaten in the attack that responders initially assumed she was dead.
Sheriff Mellenger told MetroNews that when they arrived on the scene, they thought she was dead.
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“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 continued.
When Ms Palmer woke up from her coma investigators went to the care home in Wetzel County, where she identified her brother in a shocking twist.
He sheriff said: "Now lo and behold two years later and boom, she’s awake and able to tell us exactly what happened."
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Mr Palmer was apparently surprised at the arrest but did not put up a fight with the authorities upon being apprehended.
He had denied any involvement in his sister’s beating.
Mr Palmer had always been a person of interest, according to investigators, and a witness stated “that he saw Daniel Palmer in the front doorway at Wanda’s trailer at midnight on the night she was assaulted,” according to the complaint.
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