Missing Ho-Chunk Nation woman died of hypothermia, officials report

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Published: Feb. 7, 2023 at 3:16 PM CST
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MADISON, Wis. (WMTV) - An investigation into the search for and death of a missing Ho-Chunk nation tribal member concluded that she died as a result of hypothermia, the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office stated Tuesday.

Investigators learned through video surveillance cameras that the woman, later identified as Felicia Wanna, left a Tomah Walmart around 7:20 p.m. the night of Dec. 29, 2022. Officials said this is the last confirmed sighting of her, but acknowledged other sightings had been reported. She did not have her vehicle or cell phone with her at the time of the confirmed sighting, as the sheriff’s office noted that someone they knew took both to La Crosse.

The woman’s family requested on Jan. 2 that police conduct a welfare check.

Authorities searched the area where she was last seen on Jan. 18 and found her body about a mile and a half from the Tomah Walmart location. The agency stated that the primary cause of her death was hypothermia, which was from environmental exposure.

The Monroe County Sheriff’s Office, Ho-Chunk Police Department, DCI, WI State Crime Lab, Wisconsin State Patrol and the Monroe County Medical Examiner all assisted in the death investigation.

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