Dayton woman may have died of exposure |

Dayton woman may have died of exposure

Staff report

DAYTON – A heart attack coupled with exposure to the cold apparently killed a Dayton woman found dead in her driveway Nov. 28.

Lyon County Sheriff’s Sgt. Jeroen Wynands said a friend found Joan Palko, 87, in the snow outside her Pebble Drive home at 6:50 a.m. in the River Village subdivision off Dayton Valley Road.

The autopsy revealed Palko likely laid outside for about 24 hours. Wynands said the autopsy was unable to determine if Palko suffered a heart attack first or if she fell, was unable to get up and subsequently suffered a heart attack brought on by exposure.

Her body was found a day after a winter storm dumped 8 inches of snow in the valley.