Police: No Bear Attack, But Drugs and Fall from Cliff Possible

Published 06/19 2014 07:07PM

Updated 06/19 2014 07:23PM

MILTON, Vt. - Police say there was no bear, but there might have been drugs and the fire now appears to be intentionally set. These details were released from Milton police Thursday night, stemming from an investigation that started because of a reported bear attack on Clay Ridge Road Wednesday.

Police have been finding out new information by interviewing with 44 year-old Ladonna Merriman and 28 year-old Lucas Gingras, both from Milton.

Gingras originally told police he and Merriman were attacked by a bear while camping in a cabin. He told police a stove was knocked over during the attack and that it set the cabin on fire. Now he says he did it.

The couple was transported to Fletcher Allen Health Care. Gingras is listed in good condition while police say Merriman has serious injuries.

But according to police and game wardens there was never a bear to cause the injuries. Instead police say there is evidence that one of the people involved might have gone over a steep ledge near the camp and fallen on some trees and rocks.

We discovered more about Gingras and Merriman in court records.

The Department of Children and Families is investigating Gingras for drug use in an ongoing child custody case.

He's also faced an assault charge, disorderly conduct charge and numerous unlawful mischief charges.

Ladonna Merriman has numerous relief from abuse orders filed with Chittenden Family Court. None of them involve Gingras.

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