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Blow to head proved fatal

Submitted by Newsroom on July 19, 2011 – 11:25 amNo Comment

SINKS CANYON DROWNING UPDATE: 11:30 a.m. Tuesday, July 19, 2011

By News Director Leslie Stratmoen

LANDER, Wyo. – A blow to the head proved fatal for a Thermopolis woman who drowned over the weekend in the Popo Agie River in Sinks Canyon in the mountains above Lander.

Fremont County Coroner Ed McAuslan said Michele Moon was sitting on a rock watching her boyfriend fish when she fell into the rushing waters. She was found dead about a half a mile down river near the Popo Agie Campground.

The coroner’s verdict and case docket says the 37-year-old died of “asphyxia from drowning as a result of blunt force trauma to the head.” Her manner of death has been declared accidental.

The woman fell into the water mid-afternoon Saturday. Once she was found, the coroner said it took a group effort by members of several local agencies to recover the body.

He said his office owes “a great deal of thanks and gratitude” to the Fremont County Search and Rescue team and both the city and rural fire departments from Lander.

In a separate incident, Det. Sgt. Ryan Lee of the Fremont County Sheriff’s Department said county Search and Rescue was called out a second time to the same area over the weekend to look for a 61-year-old man who was reported missing. He was found Sunday night uninjured just after 9 o’clock, which was about an hour after he’d been reported missing from his fishing party in the Sinks Canyon area.

Coroner identifies drowning victim: Broadcast in First News, 6:20 a.m. Tuesday, July 19, 2011

By News Director Leslie Stratmoen

LANDER, Wyo. — A woman who drowned over the weekend in the Popo Agie River near Lander has been identified. Fremont County Coroner Ed McAuslan said it was Michelle Moon of Thermopolis.

She fell into the river Saturday afternoon, according to the Fremont County Sheriff’s report. That’s when the incident was reported to authorities. Someone called dispatch and said they’d seen her falling in, but could not find her.

She was found by emergency responders shortly after they arrived, at which time she was pronounced dead at the scene.

From information provided by The Associated Press

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