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Coroner Confirms California Woman Was Killed by Black Bear in Her Home

The Realblog with Stephanie Mallory

Coroner Confirms California Woman Was Killed by Black Bear in Her Home

Posted 2024-07-08  by  Stephanie Mallory

The 71-year-old woman’s death is the first documented fatal black bear attack on a human in the Golden State

A large black bear harassed a 71-year-old California woman for months before breaking into her home and killing her.

According to Fox News, officials found Patrice Miller’s body mauled and partially eaten in November of 2023 in her Downieville home, but believed she had died from natural causes before the bear broke into her home. But a recently released coroner’s report states Miller was actually killed by the bear.

Neighbors claim that they’d seen the bear returning to Miller’s home time and again. In an attempt to keep the bear out of her home, she had even installed bars on her windows before it broke down her door.

"It appeared that the bear had probably been there several days and had been feeding on the remains," Sierra County Sheriff Mike Fisher said.

Inside her living room, sheriff’s deputies found bear scat, along with blood and paw prints. The coroner report said the bear pulled Miller from her bed into her living room.

Miller’s friend Cassie Koch, who initially asked for a welfare check on her, said Miller had wanted the bear to be removed but not hurt before it killed her.

Koch said Miller had a vegetable garden and compost and didn't always throw her trash out immediately, which officials said could have attracted the bear to her home.

The bear was later trapped and euthanized.

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