Prior Lake woman third to die after Ariz. sweat lodge retreat


After a James Arthur Ray sweat lodge retreat in Arizona turned deadly earlier this month, killing two, a third Minnesota woman also died after lapsing into a coma.

Liz Neuman, 49, became severely dehydrated after the sweat lodge ceremony with dozen of people crammed inside. She went into a coma and never recovered.

The deaths are being treated as homicides, but no one has been charged.

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About 55 to 65 people had packed the sweat lodge at the Angel Valley Retreat Center rented by Ray for a five-day "Spiritual Warrior" retreat. Authorities were called with reports of people without pulses and not breathing. Twenty-one people were taken to hospitals for symptoms ranging from dehydration to kidney failure. Kirby Brown, 38, of Westtown, N.Y., and James Shore, 40, of Milwaukee, died. A nurse Ray hired was directing CPR at the scene.

"Liz prided herself on leading a healthy and active life," said a statement released by her family Sunday. "She loved to hike, take her dog on walks and share her passion for health with others through the nutritional products she promoted."

The retreats last five days and participants pay up to $10,000. At this retreat, participants did a 36-hour fast, ate breakfast and then entered the sweat lodge.