Article 16: February 2022
Medical Examiner: Walker-Donaldson’s death ruled accidental
By Chris Willingham
The Oklahoma Office of the Chief Medical Examiner has issued its report on the February death of Alyssa Walker-Donaldson, 24, of Idabel, whose body was found in her car in Broken Bow Lake after her disappearance in early February.
The probable cause of Walker-Donaldson’s death was listed as drowning.
The report notes that the drowning followed a motor vehicle accident and that Walker-Donaldson was suffering acute intoxication by alcohol.
Her passing was classified as an accidental death.
Walker-Donaldson, who was last seen alive at a Hochatown-area bar, had around two-and-a-half times the legal limit of alcohol in her system at the time of her death. The legal limit of alcohol is 0.08 g/dl (grams per deciliter) in
Oklahoma; Walker-Donaldson’s blood ethanol level was 0.20 g/dl.
The report notes that her vitreous ethanol level was 0.17 g/dl; this level being lower than BAC indicates that Walker-Donaldson was still processing the alcohol in her system.
No evidence of trauma was found on her body, the report says. No traces of illegal drugs were found in her system, according to the medical examiner.
Walker-Donaldson had been seen in the Hochatown area on Feb. 5 (a Saturday) leaving the Watering Hole Bar. She had been due to meet a group of people at Chiggers bar but never arrived. She was reported missing by her family on Feb. 7.
Her vehicle was sighted in Broken Bow Lake, just off the lakeshore from a boat ramp, by Hochatown business owner Brad Pennington on Feb. 8. The vehicle and her body were recovered from the lake by an Oklahoma Highway Patrol dive team on Feb. 10.
Walker-Donaldson’s disappearance took place shortly after the escape of four inmates from the McCurtain County Jail, leading some residents to speculate that she might have met foul play at the hands of one of the escapees.
The search for the escapees coincided with the search for Walker-Donaldson’s body.
Family members told regional media that she had “run-ins” with one of the escapees, a six-time felon.
Statements made by the McCurtain County Sheriff’s Office shortly after her body was recovered said there were, however, no signs of foul play on Walker-Donaldson’s body, a comment supported by the medical examiner’s report.
Some residents directed criticism at the McCurtain County Sheriff’s Office for the handling of the search for Walker-Donaldson, especially for the lack of direction provided to the large number of volunteers who turned out to search for the 24-year-old.
Walker-Donaldson was a graduate of Haworth High School who resided in Idabel. She was the mother of one daughter, and the 2013 Miss McCurtain County.
The medical examiner’s report was received by the newspaper on Wednesday, one day after the 2022 Miss McCurtain County pageant.
At that pageant, Walker-Donaldson’s daughter was made the inaugural recipient of the Alyssa Walker Memorial Award, which pageant goers said will be presented on an annual basis.