Sheriff’s Deputies say that Melanie Brown, 62, of Ryderwood, was found dead in her home late yesterday morning, apparently having been down for several days. Brown made headlines in the local area several times over the past few years, in a dispute over what she called her “service dog” being kicked out of the Hall of Justice. Brown filed two separate lawsuits, claiming that Cowlitz County was violating the Americans With Disabilities Act by denying her and her dog entry to the Hall of Justice. Both suits were rejected. Yesterday morning, Brown’s daughter contacted the Cowlitz County Sheriff’s Office, saying that she hadn’t heard from Brown for more than a week. When Deputies checked the home, there was no answer at the door, and her SUV wasn’t there. They checked around town, with people saying that Brown hadn’t been seen for some time. When Deputies returned to the home, it was noted that mail had stacked up, and a UPS package was still on the porch. They forced open the door, and found Brown’s body, along with the body of a large dog. The Coroner’s Office says that both Brown and the dog died of natural causes. They estimate that she had died late last week, then the dog died from dehydration a few days later.