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Police: Bear attack didn't happen - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

Police: Bear attack didn't happen

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MILTON, Vt. - Imagine surviving a bear attack and being forced to set a cabin ablaze to ward off the ferocious creature. A Milton couple told police Wednesday they lived that nightmare.

It was a bizarre tale that authorities now say was bogus.

"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 Vermont 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."

That is a conclusion that does not surprise those who live nearby.

“It’d be far-fetched if a bear came out and attacked somebody,” said Steven Brauld, a St. Albans native.

So what about their battle wounds? Neighbors say Ladonna Merriman, 44, and Lucas Gingras, 28, came down from Georgia Mountain with their bear tale, dripping with blood. First responders rushed them to the hospital.

"Loaded up the one that was walking around,” said Chris Burnett of Milton Rescue. “We fully mobilized 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."

Thursday Milton Police and Vermont Fish and Wildlife hopped on ATVs returning to where the mystery began.

“They're going through the burned down remains of the camp to look for evidence of what might have occurred that day,” Currier said.

Their investigation uncovered a steep ledge. And police say the evidence points to someone going over the edge, landing on the rocks below. At the hospital the couple allegedly made additional confessions. Police say drugs may have played a role, and Gingras admitted to intentionally knocking over the wood stove that ultimately started the blaze.

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