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Police, wildlife officials: No bear attack in Milton - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

Police, wildlife officials: No bear attack in Milton

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Courtesy: Amber Turner Courtesy: Amber Turner
MILTON, Vt. -

Police have concluded there was no bear attack in Milton and they say drugs may have been behind the incident.

"It'd be far-fetched if a bear came out and attacked somebody," said Steven Brauld of St. Albans.

But that's what Lucas Gingras, 28, and Ladonna Merriman, 44, told investigators Wednesday. They said a bear attacked them at the cabin they were staying in on Georgia Mountain. And in order to escape, they burned the cabin down.

Investigators say Merriman and Gingras now admit drugs may have been involved in the incident, and Gingras said he intentionally knocked over the wood stove.

Police and game wardens say they found a steep ledge near the burned out camp, along with evidence someone went over it and landed on trees and rocks below. They are now investigating whether that is how Merriman and Gingras got hurt.

Neighbors say the couple arrived back at their condo Wednesday dripping with blood.

"Loaded up the one that was walking around. We fully immobilized him for precautions of injuries and transported him down to the hospital. The other patient had to be taken out of the upstairs bathroom and had to be taken to the hospital for the injuries she had," said Chris Burnett of Milton Rescue.

Police say Merriman and Gingras were admitted to Fletcher Allen Health Care in Burlington with serious injuries. The hospital says no one by either name is currently in the ER or the main hospital.

Vermont Fish and Wildlife says their search for this bear is over.

"The official stance of our department as of now after conducting an investigation yesterday, is that there has been no bear involvement in this case whatsoever," said Robert Currier, a Vt. Fish and Wildlife Game Warden. "We were up there for approximately four to five hours yesterday, we found zero bear evidence in the area. Tracks, hair, anything."

Vermont Fish and Wildlife say there is no cause for concern about bears in the Milton area.

Residents say the story seems strange.

"I don't see a relationship between a bear attack and the cabin burning down," said James Dodge of Milton.

Vermont Fish and Wildlife says their investigation of the bear is complete and they will not continue looking for one.

They say in the past 100 years there are no reports of a bear mauling anyone in Vermont.

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