The Grays Harbor County Coroner has released the details of a November death investigation involving two Hoquiam police officers.
Coroner Lane Youmans said in a press release that the Forensic Pathologist has determined that the cause of death of 35-year-old Sarah Louise Palmer on November 21, 2016, was sudden unexpected death due to excited delirium and schizophrenia, paranoid type. Youmans concluded that the manner of death is natural.
Two officers were briefly assigned to administrative duties while the death was investigated. Hoquiam Police Chief Jeff Myers said in a November press release that the officers were dispatched to a reported assault between two clients at a group home in the 300 block of N Street on November 21, 2016.
While the victim was being tended to by Hoquiam paramedics in the front room, the 35-year old female suspect, who had been separated from the victim in another room, suddenly became combative. Myers said the two officers struggled with the woman as she fought with the officers. The struggle carried the three across the kitchen and out onto an enclosed back porch. The officers called for additional assistance.
Officers used a TASER and continued to struggle with the woman until they were finally able to get her onto the floor where she was then handcuffed. After being handcuffed, the female suddenly became unresponsive.
The paramedics in the front of the home were called to the back porch to render aid. Paramedics treated the female at the scene before she was transported to Grays Harbor Community Hospital where she was pronounced dead.
A second aid crew transported the 53-year old victim to the hospital for treatment for injuries she received in the earlier assault.
The police department requested the assistance of the Grays Harbor County Sheriff’s Office to conduct a death investigation. The two officers at the scene were reassigned to administrative duties until they could be interviewed by sheriff’s office detectives.