Sheriff: Missing Wisconsin woman died from hypothermia due to environmental exposure

TOMAH, Wis. (WFRV) – Authorities in western Wisconsin have wrapped up their investigation into the death of a missing woman and now have a cause of death.

According to an update provided by the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office, Felicia Wanna, who was found dead in a rural area of Monroe County, died of hypothermia due to environmental exposure.

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On January 2, 2023, Wanna’s family called authorities to request a welfare check as Wanna had not been seen or heard from since December 29, 2022. Deputies say that numerous attempts were made to contact and locate Wanna, but with no success.

An investigation was opened by the Ho-Chunk Police Department, and further investigations revealed that Wanna’s last known location was at the Tomah Walmart.

Video footage obtained by law enforcement confirmed that she was in the area around 7:20 p.m. on December 29, 2022. Surveilance cameras show Wanna leaving the Tomah Walmart of her own free will.

It was discovered that Wanna did not have her vehicle or cell phone with her at that time, as a known party had taken both to the City of La Crosse. Although a number of other sightings were reported, this was the last confirmed sighting of Wanna.

On January 18, 2023, an expansive ground search operation was conducted in the area where Wanna was last seen. During the search, her body was located in a remote area, around one and a half miles from the Tomah Walmart.

Deputies say that the investigation has concluded that the primary cause of death for Felicia Wanna was hypothermia due to environmental exposure.

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According to the National Weather Service, temperatures were between 28-38 degrees in Sparta, which is located just west of Tomah, on December 29, 2022.

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

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