The Missoula County Sheriff’s Office continues to lead the investigation into a woman who was badly beaten about the head and shoulders, sustained serious injuries and remains in St. Patrick Hospital.

Detective Garrett Vanhoose is the lead investigator in the case, and said on Tuesday, that the woman is a 47 year-old Caucasian, and has been identified, however, her identity is not being released for privacy reasons.

Vanhoose walked through the timeline of the incident that occurred last weekend.

“9-1-1 received the call on Saturday, March 3, when a jogger found the woman lying in the middle of Coal Mine Road,” said Vanhoose. “At first it was called in as a medical, but the fire department said there was something going on here, and requested law enforcement. At first, they thought it might be a vehicle versus pedestrian, but the injuries did not match that assessment. So, we had to double back and realize this was not an accidental issue, it was a criminal issue.”

After meeting with MHP and city police, Vanhoose took charge of the investigation.

“We know her identity, and obtained cell phone records on her phone to track her movements,” he said. “We’ve used video cameras from various merchants to piece together her path of travel. We knew where she started and where she was headed, and where she was found was nowhere on that path. We knew someone transported her to that point, because there’s no way she would have walked over there willingly. The merchants have been super cooperative in supplying surveillance video for the investigation. We’re just not at the point of answering the question, of who did this?”

Vanhoose said the woman has family in eastern Montana and in California, but they have not yet made it to Missoula to see her. She does, however, have some friends and coworkers who have visited her in the hospital.

Vanhoose said the woman sustained serious injuries to her head and shoulders.

“She was hit with something hard enough that it did significant damage to her skull,” he said.

Anyone with information about this incident is asked to call the Missoula County Sheriff's Office at 258-4810.

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