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Investigators say pack of dogs killed woman

Nov 18, 2014 - From staff reports

The victim Wednesday was Deanne Lynn Coando, 40, of Fort Washakie.

Officials think the woman found unconscious last week in the 800 block of Rendezvous Road died after being attacked by "multiple dogs."

The victim has been identified as Deanne Lynn Coando, 40, of Fort Washakie. Preliminary autopsy results indicate she died of hypothermia and blood loss from "serious injuries" suffered in the attack.

Coando was pronounced dead Wednesday evening at SageWest Health Care at Riverton. She was transported there by ambulance after being found unconscious and with a weak pulse that afternoon on the side of Rendezvous Road.

Responders at the scene were unsure whether Coando had been outside overnight. The temperature at the time she was found was near zero.

Use caution

The Fremont County Coroner's Office urges the public to use caution in the area in question and to be alert for any suspicious animals or aggressive animal behavior.

Any problems should be reported to the Wind River Police Department, or other law enforcement.

There are no indications that any humans other than Coando were involved in the attack. Officials also don't believe any predatory wildlife was involved.

Last week, deputy Fremont County coroner Mark Stratmoen said the victim suffered "severe trauma" in the incident.

"So that kind of gives you an idea that it wasn't small animals," Stratmoen said.

Several dogs were observed in the area where the woman was found, but Stratmoen said they weren't necessarily the aggressors in the attack.

"Like with any other animal investigation, you have your initial event and then you may have other animals coming by later (who) are opportunists," Stratmoen said, adding, "I'm not ruling anything out."

Coando was autopsied Friday in Loveland, Colo. Final results will be available in four to six weeks.

Stratmoen hopes the examination will help determine the type of animal or animals involved, when the attack occurred, and whether additional animals injured the woman after the initial incident.

Emergency responders at the scene last week could be heard describing Coando's wounds, which resembled deep lacerations like those inflicted by a knife, according to scanner traffic. A male responder said he couldn't tell whether she had been attacked with a knife or by an animal.

Ambulance personnel said the woman was unconscious when they arrived, and she appeared to have hypothermia. Her pulse was light at the scene, and crews were heard discussing the woman's footwear. One early report indicated she may have been wearing only a shoe and a sock. One responder stated the woman looked familiar, but he wasn't sure who she was. Later, a female responder left the scene and headed for the hospital to try to identify the woman. Emergency personnel said they had to stay at the scene after the woman was transported, because they had found footprints in the snow. A brown-and-black dog on scene apparently had blood on it, but emergency personnel said they were not sure whether the blood was from the incident or if the dog had come into contact with the woman after the attack.

There was a trailer near the scene as well as a red log house surrounded by shacks, tires and furniture. A larger, concrete structure was next to the log house, with a bigger blue house behind it. Witnesses Wednesday afternoon saw Bureau of Indian Affairs vehicles at the scene and heard barking coming from the home at 888 Rendezvous Road. A black car was in the area farther away from the home. About four dogs in a pack ran toward two more law enforcement vehicles that arrived at the scene. An officer exited one of the vehicles and approached a light brown truck, where a man was sitting in the driver's seat. The officer then produced a roll of yellow tape and began to block off the perimeter of the property with the help of a female officer. Later, an officer interviewed a woman in the black car. The woman said her name was Christy and that she was there picking up her daughter. She then left to speak with the man in the brown pickup truck.

RELATED CONTENT

Jan. 8: Autopsy says woman died from dog attack

Nov. 19: Allegation vs. verification: In the case of a bizarre death, we must take care to recognize the difference

Nov. 13: Animal attack may have killed woman south of Riverton
 

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