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Criminal charges pending results of victim autopsy

Vandenburg died Oct. 5

The victim of a suspected physical altercation has died, and investigators are awaiting findings from a pending autopsy and completion of witness interviews to determine whether criminal charges should be filed.

Lora Vandenburg, 44, of Elk City, died last Saturday morning, Oct. 5, at St. Joseph Regional Medical Center in Lewiston, according to the nurse supervisor. She had prior been under treatment for injuries suffered in a Sept. 24 incident at Elk City, among which was possible head trauma.

“We’re looking at the cause of death and what occurred,” said Idaho County Sheriff Doug Giddings, “and is there someone involved in that cause.”

Information is limited due to the ongoing investigation. Giddings related that ICSO Deputy Mike Chlebowski responded to a 5:43 p.m. call to 101 Hidden Springs Road for a report of a woman who had been hit, had fallen down and was unconscious. Vandenburg was taken by Elk City Ambulance to Syringa Hospital in Grangeville before being transferred to Lewiston.

“There was no evidence of any injury at the time. We didn’t know what the problem was,” Giddings said of the initial investigator response, other than a witness report that she had been hit.

At this point, investigators suspect Vandenburg was injured in an altercation, and Giddings said there is “definitely a person of interest who may have been involved.”

Investigation is currently under way by detectives Lt. Jerry Johnson and Brian Hewson.

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