Woman trapped in hole at north Idaho marshy area dies

COEUR D’ALENE, Idaho — Authorities in northern Idaho say a 39-year-old Washington state woman walking with her two young daughters in a marshy area fell head-first into a hole caused by animals and became stuck and died.

Kootenai County authorities on Sunday identified the woman as Dixie A. Farman of Newman Lake, a town near the Idaho-Washington border.

Kootenai County Sheriff Ben Wolfinger said a deputy with a backcountry unit responded after hearing calls for help at about 2 p.m. Saturday and was flagged down by a camper who said a woman was stuck in a hole by a creek.

Kootenai County Fire and Rescue as well as U.S. Forest Service personnel responded but attempts to pull her out failed and she was pronounced dead at the scene. Her body was eventually extricated.

Sgt. Ryan Higgins told The Spokesman-Review that the hole near Copper Creek in the Coeur d’Alene National Forest was 2 to 3 feet in diameter and filled with water.

“There are holes in that area that are not visible until you step or fall into them,” Higgins said.

Authorities said Farman was looking in knee-high grass for frogs or other wildlife with her daughters, ages 9 and 11.

Wolfinger said the death appears to be a tragic accident with no signs of foul play. Alcohol was not a factor.

He said an autopsy is planned.

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