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Coroner says woman found in canal died of cardiac event

Jul 26, 2013 - By Katie Roenigk, Staff Writer

Coroner Ed McAuslan says Dajuana Crichton, 55, of rural Riverton, died as the result of a cardiac event Wednesday.

Crichton was found in an irrigation ditch at about 12:45 p.m. Wednesday near her home on Elkhorn Drive.

Initial report from official sources referred to the incident as a drowning, but McAuslan said further investigation showed that the cardiac event preceded her fall into the water.

"She did not drown," McAuslan said Friday.

He didn't know whether she fell face-down in the water.

"These are just preliminary findings," he said. "We won't know all of the details until we get the final report."

He believes Crichton was alone when she died.

Law enforcement was notified of the incident when a reporting party called to say someone was "floating in the ditch."

When they arrived on scene, officials reportedly found Crichton unconscious in the canal. They attempted cardio-pulmonary resuscitation until an ambulance arrived to transport her to Riverton Memorial Hospital. Crichton was pronounced dead an hour later, McAuslan said.

He said she didn't appear to have been in the ditch for long when she was found.

"It was all fairly quick," he said Thursday.

Officials said the canal was about 3 feet wide and 2 feet deep. They don't suspect foul play was involved.

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